Bond: Clear Creak ISD

Reviewer’s Report:
Bond Information Website

     Really like the details laid out in the .pdf linked from “Bond Details – All Projects” on first page. This appears to show every school and line item expense.

     I believe a footnote or explanation is needed for the 10% inflation figures for 2017 and 2018 shown for every facility as 10%/year seems very high. Are these figures really for “inflation” which is an economic term indicating overall price growth, or are they for ‘general cost growth’ which sounds to me like it includes a lot more than inflation. Because 10% is unexpectedly high, it really needs an explanation. This isn’t for medical devices, post-secondary education, or housing, just general construction.

     I see on several projects there is a line item called, “Premium for Bidding Small Additions” that in some cases is greater than $1 million. I would like to know more about this non-construction, no-equipment cost. Is this just extra money set aside in order to attract bidders?

     Same applies to “A & E Fee New Design”. What is that? Is it just for architectural and engineering services? Do the costs for all other line items not include any engineering or architectural services?

     Is there an explanation or summary somewhere of how these costs were compiled and by whom? What could be provided to confirm their credibility? The footer says prepared by the Dir. of Facility Services, but I doubt this was an individual effort.

     The tables that present student enrollment changes (growth) per school need an explanation of a) who prepared this and b) what assumptions were made and what models were used? Also, it would be helpful if two estimates were provided for each school — a high growth and a low growth figure. Also, what has been the average, long-term enrollment growth in each of these schools and how does it compare with the growth shown in the tables? One reason I ask is there are several schools in the Denver metro area that are losing students every year and will probably be closed & consolidated.

     I think it is excellent that the right-side contains a list of each campus that links to the proposed changes and costs for each campus. That is very convenient.
The page with answers to common questions is useful (could probably use more or them) and the ability to directly ask any question from the same page is very good.

     Another good idea is to provide the status update and details for the 2013 bond issue. I’m sure this will go a long way to answer the all-too-common, “Didn’t we just give the schools a lot more money? What happened to all of that?”

     A summary that highlighted the differences behind the purpose and expected outcomes of the 2013 bond issue and this issue should be included. I think it would be helpful to describe the distinction between these two.

     The page for “How Bond was Developed” located at needs to be updated. It is now all in future tense for events that I’m guessing have already taken place. The summary should include what actually did happen and what was the outcome from all of the meetings and reports? Also, is there a list of names for who sat on the Facility Advisory Committee along with their title / affiliation with the school district, if any?

     I like the information and tools available on the Estimated Tax Impact page.

     It is wonderful that there are several videos available that present the FAC meetings. Also, the facility tours on video is a great idea.

     I can’t find any details on the $31M asked for technology updates. Links that I find all go to but there are no details there.

     Overall, I believe this is an excellent job explaining what exactly the school district is asking for, how they intend to spend the money, and all without gold-plating the potential outcomes. The information is factual without playing on emotions and without using loaded phrases such as, “…the district hasn’t asked for additional money in the last N years…” as that demonstrates a terrible understanding of financing and how to ask for additional funding. You shouldn’t ask for more money because you haven’t asked for any in N years. A statement like this does nothing to justify the need for additional funds. Thankfully, I haven’t found anything like that at this site.

     I’m surprised at the level and especially breadth of detail available at this site. I consider this a model example for the right way to present bond issuance information.

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