Construction to begin on schools across Bay County

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District School Board members are in the midst of rebuildings the district’s schools after Hurricane Michael devastated the area.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, funding was secured to be able to make repairs on several different campuses.

After five different proposals, the district decided to borrow the 35 million dollars needed to make these repairs from PNC Bank. The process is called ‘private placement.’

“We went out to a lot of different banks or financial institutions versus going out into the marketplace to shop our debt really. When I say shop our debt I mean trying to find the best rates were trying to be good stewards of taxpayers dollars at al times. So we went out and basically said to these big banks or financial institutions, we want to borrow 35 million dollars, so who has the best rates,” said School Board Chairman, Steve Moss.

 PNC Bank will loan the district the money as the board waits for reimbursement from FEMA.

 They have 10 years to pay PNC back.

“We as a school district first have to pay for those repairs, before FEMA or the federal government reimburses us for those repairs. So today (Tuesday) was all about securing funding to make the repairs. Some of the big projects were the gymnasium for Jinks, the new classroom wing for Bay High School and a variety of other types of projects that need to be done relatively soon,” said Moss.

School Board Chairman Steve Moss says this is a step in the right direction.

“We’ve worked with our facilities department, they’re the ones who came back with those initial figures and said this is what they think it will cost. Not only for the Jinks Gymnasium and the Bay High wing, but also those other projects that need to be done sooner rather than later,” said Moss.

An architect and builder have been selected by the district. The projects will begin after the first of the year.

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