The Marinette School District’s recent financing of its $30.9 million building referendum came with good news for district taxpayers. The district was able to lock in a very low interest rate of 1.64% on 15-year bonds for the project. The district’s responsible fiscal planning and solid budgeting practices led to a bond rating upgrade to a very strong Aa3 from Moody’s Investors Services. The District’s positive fiscal position was also key in getting a 15-year term on the bonds instead of a 20-year term.
Superintendent Corry Lambie says the district will need to spend almost $10.7 million less than the original estimate. This means that the mill rate for the referendum will be 39 cents lower than the projected rate. The overall mill rate cannot be determined until the state budget for 2021-2023 is determined over the next six months. Even with the referendum included, the district expects to continue to keep the mill rate under the state average.
The $30.9 million building plan was passed by voters last November. Under the plan, the district will right size its operations by consolidating from six buildings to four. Park and Merryman Elementary Schools will be expanded and Sunrise Early Learning Center and Garfield Elementary School will be closed. There will also be remodeling at Marinette Middle and High Schools. Construction is expected to be completed by the 2022-23 school year.