A new board, known as the Public Facilities Corporation, was formed to finance Mission CISD’s administration building project. The PFC met Aug. 3 to approve their bylaws, officers, investment policy and engagement of professionals.
The project will be funded through a lease revenue bond, which is a form of long-term borrowing the state uses to finance public improvements. It allows for lower interest rate and may be authorized without voter approval. The PFC is a legal form of financing that guarantees the district is going to pay back the bondholders.
“Because [the project is] an administration building, it doesn’t qualify under the Instructional Facilities Allotment from TEA,” said Rumalda Ruiz, the assistant superintendent of finance. “We cannot use that money for an administration building, stadiums and things of that nature. We don’t qualify for [IFA] so we look at different alternatives for financing.”
In order to make sure the process runs smoothly, the district hired a bond legal counsel that is guiding them through the process, a financial advisor that is going to help the directors with selling the bonds, and an underwriter.
The project is not to exceed $13,464,000, which includes the construction cost, the first bond payment and the cost for the cost legal counsel, financial advisor and underwriter. Construction is priced at about $9 million.
The board of directors consists of the Mission CISD school board members, which are currently Patricia O’Caña-Olivarez, Roy Vela, Minnie Rogers, Petra Ramirez, Jerry Zamora, Charlie Garcia III and Dr. Sonia Treviño. However, the bylaws state that the PFC board of directors must be current school board members. When a school board member is no longer a trustee, they are also no longer on the PFC board of directors.
The PFC officers are also the same as the school board officers — O’Caña-Olivarez as president, Vela as vice president and Ramirez as secretary treasurer. The board of directors can choose to change the officers at a later time.
Mission CISD’s administration building was built in the 1950s and renovated three separate times as a hospital before the school district obtained the facility in the late 1980s.
Before the school board approved construction of a new building, district leaders considered renovations instead. However, an entirely new structure was proven to be more cost effective.
“We’re looking at efficiencies more than anything, all the utilities are outdated. We’re looking at bringing all of that together and making the building more efficient,” Ruiz said. “The district has grown, as with other areas, and we’ve remained the same. But we need to catch up to the demand and we’ve just stayed behind.”
The new central office is set to be built in the parking lot east of the current administration building. The facility will be slightly larger than the current facility and have a design that will cut down on unnecessary square footage and have a better utilization of space.