What is a bond referendum?
A bond referendum is an election held to give the residents of a school district the opportunity to vote yes or no to a district's request to borrow money for building new schools, renovating existing schools, and/or acquiring/improving other long-term assets.
How did the district decide on the projects in this referendum?
In the fall of 2019, the Board of Trustees commissioned a study to assess the growth in enrollment the district was experiencing and the condition of the district's schools and facilities. The study, along with its recommendations, was presented to the Board of Trustees in February 2020. Based on the information in this study, the Board of Trustees then decided to proceed with a plan that addressed the increasing enrollment and aging facilities.
How will this affect my taxes?
The bond referendum, if approved, WILL NOT require a tax increase. THIS MEANS DISTRICT FIVE IS ABLE TO COMPLETE THESE PROJECTS WITH NO IMPACT ON YOUR TAXES.
How can the district build these new schools/facilities and not increase taxes?
The District's current outstanding debt issues will be paid off in June 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025 and 2028. This will free up existing funds (revenue) to pay principal and interest on the new debt. The principal payments will be spread over a 25 year period. Also, the growth of our taxable property values will help pay for future principal and interest payments.
Will the district use any of these funds to pay off existing debt?
No, the funds in the referendum will only be used on the building projects outlined in this plan. Additionally, the district cannot use any of these funds to pay off existing debt. The district's existing bonds are not "callable", meaning they cannot be refinanced due to the short amount of time left before their maturity.
What happens if the bond referendum does not pass?
With our district continuing to grow at its current rate, the only way for Spartanburg District Five to deal with the increased enrollment would be to address the growth in phases. Due to the state regulation on the district's debt limit, we would not have access to enough money to address all of the district's needs at once. Each project would have to be completed in phases, which would likely increase taxes.
Due to the escalation in costs, this would prove considerably more expensive. In addition, many of our students would be taught in portables much longer until permanent structures are built.
What is the ballot question?
OFFICIAL BALLOT, REFERENDUM
$295,000,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 5 OF
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
November 2, 2021
Shall the Board of Trustees of School District No. 5 of Spartanburg County, South Carolina (the “School District”) be authorized to issue and sell, either as a single issue or as several separate issues, general obligation bonds of the School District in the aggregate principal amount of not exceeding $295,000,000, the proceeds of which shall be applied to defray the costs (including architectural, engineering, legal and related fees) of any of the following:
Acquiring land and constructing thereon, and equipping and furnishing a new elementary school;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing a new middle school;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing improvements, renovations and additions in order to convert Beech Springs Intermediate School into a middle school;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing improvements, renovations and additions in order to convert Berry Shoals Intermediate School into an elementary school;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing improvements, renovations and additions to Byrnes High School;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing improvements and additions to Reidville Elementary School;
Constructing, equipping and furnishing a new elementary school to replace Wellford Academy, and demolishing the existing facility;
Acquisition of land for future school sites; and
Renovating other existing school facilities
In favor of the question / yes
Opposed to the question / no
When is the bond referendum?
The bond referendum will be held on November 2, 2021, during the general election.