(NASHVILLE, TN), August 3, 2010 – Local State Senator Doug Overbey (R-Maryville) today announced that the Tennessee State School Bond Authority (TSSBA) has given approval for $15,016,740 in bonds for school construction loan money for two projects in Blount County, including $13,422,294 for Prospect Elementary School.
“I am very pleased that these funds have been made available for this needed construction project in Blount County,” said Senator Overbey. “It will be a great educational asset to our county. I also appreciate the action of the state’s Bond Authority in approving this project, including the support of our Constitutional officers who are members of that board, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, Treasurer David Lillard and Comptroller Justin Wilson.”
The other project approved by the Bond Authority was for $1,300,000 for HVAC renovation at Carpenters Middle School.
The loan funds, which are being made available through the state’s Qualified School Construction Bond program, will be used to build, renovate and repair schools in Tennessee. Overbey has fought for a more equitable approach in the state’s educational funding formula, including discussions with the state’s Constitutional officers, to ensure that Blount County gets its fare share of state education dollars.
Money from the bond program can only be used for new construction, rehabilitation or repair of public school facilities; land acquisition for qualified school construction projects or purchase of equipment used in connection with qualified projects. The loans will be repaid at a very low interest rate. Last year, the TSSBA provided $177 million in Qualified School Construction Bond loans to 13 local governments. Those loans are being repaid over 17 years at an interest rate of 1.515 percent.
“The low interest rates available through this program are as good as school districts are likely to find anywhere,” Treasurer Lillard said. “The needs of some of our school districts are substantial. I am glad that this type of financing is available to meet those needs.”
“I commend the General Assembly for creating this program,” Secretary of State Hargett said. “Our legislators recognized the importance of creating a valuable new funding source for our schools.”