Sustained Outrage

Putnam’s school bond: What would the money buy?

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The Putnam County Board of Education will put a $56.75 million bond request — its largest ever — before voters on Aug. 29.

County voters have not approved a bond since 1976, but it wasn’t from a lack of trying by the school board.

Voters rejected proposed bonds for school improvements in 1993 for $39.5 million; 2001 for $35.8 million; and 2002 for $20 million.

Voters will be asked to decide whether the county should borrow $56.75 million to be paid back over 15 years, the way a family buys a house or car. The Board of Education has put an interest cap of 6.75 percent on the bond. Interest rates today are about 3.75 percent.

Money from the bond can be used only as specified in the proposal, which you can read in detail in the election order. If passed, the bond would fund construction of three new schools:

Poca Middle School. See the proposed floor plan and fact sheet.

Confidence Elementary School. See the proposed floor plan and fact sheet.

Buffalo High School. See proposed floor plan (pictured above) and fact sheet.

It would also pay to completely renovate Poca Elementary School, as well as to build three new auxiliary high school gyms and a new gym for Winfield Elementary School.

The state School Building Authority has said that if county voters pass a bond, the authority will provide $21.7 million for a new Winfield Middle School. See proposed floor plan and fact sheet.