Rankin County residents will vote on a $178.5 million school bond issue today. The Rankin County School District has been plagued by overcrowding for quite some time. A $169 million bond referendum failed five years ago amid much criticism for dedicating 10% of the proceeds towards athletic facilities. New RCSD Superintendent Dr. Sue Townsend said the district learned from that failure and tried to propose a bond issue that reflected the true needs of Rankin County students.
She said the district tried to be fair to all eight Rankin County communities when it selected projects that will be funded by the bond issue. She said the first goal of the bond issue is to "wipe out" all portable buildings. She said her administration tried to be as transparent as possible and went on a listening tour to all eight communities. She commissioned a demographic study of Rankin County so district needs could be determined.
The bond issue will ease overcrowding at schools in the Northwest Rankin Attendance Zone. NW Rankin High School has 1,700 students even though its capacity is only 1,300. A new high school will be built and the ninth grade at NW Rankin Middle School will occupy the current middle school. The sixth, seventh, and eighth grades will move to the current high school. There are 30 T-buildings at NW Rankin. However, Brandon will also enjoy some relief as the 16 new classrooms will be added to the middle school while 24 new classrooms are added to the high school. 10 classrooms will be added to Florence High School while all three Richland schools will get six classrooms.
She also said no bond funds would be spent on athletics except for building a dressing facility at Puckett High School. Highway 18 separates the football stadium from the current one. Parents must stand in the middle of the highway six times during each game to hold back traffic.
Facility Analysis Highlights
*Student Population increased 4,550 in last 15 years.
*Total enrollment is over 19,000
*182 T-Buildings are used
*Dining facilities are running at 126% capacity
Bond amount: $178.5 million
Amortization period: 23 years
Professional Service Fees: $1.5 million
Interest rate: 3%
Bonding Capacity: $185 million
Estimated Property Tax Increase
$100,000 home: $50/yr, $4.17/mo.,
$150,000 home: $75/yr, $6.25/mo.
$200,000 home: $100/yr, $8.33/mo.
$250,000 home: $125/yr, $10.42/mo.
Current Tax Rates of Local School Districts (Increase not included)
Rankin County: 51.55
Madison County: 54.55
Hinds County: 67
Bond Professional Service Fees
Bond Counsel (Lord Snow): $70,000
Financial Advisor (Government Consultants): $78,000
Board Attorney: $51,200
Underwriter (Morgan Stanley): $950,000
Ratings Agencies (S&P and Moody's): $80,000
Mississippi Development Bank: $150,000
Trustee (Paying agent): $10,000
Miscellaneous (2nd issue, cushion, etc.): $110,000
Brandon Middle & High School: Page 3
NW Rankin High School & feeders: Pages 3,4