2017-06-28 / Front Page

$1 million no-interest loan approved for high school renovations through CNB Bank

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board approved a no-interest $1 million Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) loan through CNB Bank, Inc., at their June 19 meeting as the local match for the Berkeley Springs High School Building C & D renovations project. The West Virginia School Board Authority (SBA) approved $5,114,779 in funding for the high school renovations NEEDS project in December.

McLiney and Company of Kansas City, Missouri arranged the QZAB loan agreement that Morgan County Schools will pay back over 15 years. The first payment will be due one year after all the paperwork is finalized, which is expected to be around July 1, said official Ed McLiney.

McLiney said that the average annual Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) principal payment is $66,667 compared to an $86,825 annual payment for a tax-exempt bond issue, saving taxpayers $20,158 annually. Over 15 years, the total interest savings to taxpayers with a QZAB loan is $302,375, which is money that can go toward education, he noted.

The school system was very lucky to have a local bank that was willing to help with the loan, McLiney said. CNB receives no interest income on the loan, only a tax credit for 15 years. Superintendent David Banks said it was their good fortune to do the 15-year loan with CNB officials.

Morgan County Schools Treasurer Ann Bell said that the previous payments for QZAB loans were around $56,000, but a federal discount companion program is no longer available. She didn’t have an amount yet for their annual payment but expected that it would be around the $66,667 amount that McLiney quoted.

McLiney and Company is also currently negotiating a lease purchase agreement for the school system’s energy savings project with CMTA Energy Solutions.

Renovations

Bell said that the high school renovations project has not gone out to bid yet and that Williamson Shriver Architects of Charleston is still working on the project timeline. Architect Greg Williamson anticipated that there would be a signed contract for construction by mid- October and that it would take around a year to complete the project.

The renovations include the Building C gymnasium building lobby enlargement, a new restroom/entry addition, locker room renovations, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and electrical and lighting renovations. Gymnasium renovations include new bleachers on the north side, new flooring, a new ceiling, a LED lighting system and a new HVAC system. Exterior building renovations include new windows and doors and replacing the existing metal panel facade system.

The Building C project also includes plumbing, fire alarm and telephone system upgrades, a sprinkler system, painting, cosmetic upgrades and making the building handicapped-accessible.

Building D vocational building renovations include replacing HVAC systems on the first and second floors, electrical/lighting upgrades, new lay-in ceilings, roof patching, new lighting, sprinkler system adjustment, duct chases as required and other associated electrical and plumbing work.

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