TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools trustees unanimously approved Monday selling nearly $35 million from the district’s 2007 and 2018 bonds to finance several projects, including the construction of the new Montessori building.
The sale includes $12.495 million from the approved 2007 bond and $22.405 million from the $107 million 2018 bond approved in August. The total is not to exceed $34.9 million.
Construction of the new TCAPS Montessori School was approved last month for a fall 2021 opening. Associate Superintendent Christine Thomas-Hill said in February the estimated cost of the building won’t be known until they complete schematic design, which is underway. She expects it to be near the same price range of Eastern Elementary School, which had a $14.5 million budget.
The bonds will be sold through a negotiated sale, TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma said, which is something the district has not done in 10 years.
Board Treasurer Matt Anderson said in January that he would prefer the district go the route of using a negotiated sale rather than a competitive sale, citing overwhelming local support for the bond during the August primary.
In a competitive sale, the bonds are more likely to be purchased by a larger organization, such as a national bank, with the bonds going to the bidder offering the lowest interest cost. In a negotiated sale, an underwriter purchases the bonds and then can give preference to local customers.
“This is a different way of selling bonds than what we’ve had in the past,” Soma said. “As part of a negotiated sale, we can ask that any investors in our region get the first shot at this.”
Soma said district officials will roll out a marketing and communication plan to the public starting at the end of March but will ramp up those efforts beginning in April.
“Anybody who wants to buy these bonds from any investment broker will be able to get them,” Soma said. “It’ll just be a matter of making sure the community knows to talk to their broker.”
The bonds will be sold in increments of $5,000.