As Denison Independent School District gears up to begin the construction process to expanding Mayes and Hyde Park Elementary campuses, the district received notice it will be getting some unexpected savings on a few of its bonds.According to a news release the district’s tax refund bonds sold better than expected.


It ended up saving $15,720,461 on debt service. The sale provided the district with average savings of $748,339 per year with an interest rate of 2.599 percent on the bonds.


The release further stated the bonds to fund the additions at the two campuses were also deemed very successful. The district projected the interest cost for those bonds to be 2.767 percent. The actual true interest cost was 1.575 percent. As a result of the refunding and lower than anticipated interest rates, the district is looking at a debt service rate increase of $0.015 cents, lower than the expected $0.03 cents previously reported.


In a phone interview, Denison ISD Superintendent Henry Scott said the district was very pleased to learn of the cost savings, and now that the bonds have been issued, the project will begin moving forward into the next phase.


“We’re in the process of planning for the expansions,” Scott said. “Some of that will take place this summer. Especially the parking lots — they can be done in the summer. Some of it will be done in the school year and finished in the summer of 2021. We expect it will be totally completed by the beginning of school year 2021.”


The district began making strides toward expansion last school year. Scott said the school board formed a citizen planning committee to determine the best course of action. The plan that was presented included adding 10 additional classrooms and remodeling the cafeteria and parking lots at each of the two campuses.


“What it will do is add an additional 300 student capacity for the district in the elementary schools,” Scott said. “Our next step is going to look at the future. We will develop a master plan for facilities with a five and 10-year build out as we see the need.”


The project is currently in the design phase with construction set to begin this summer.


Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd can be reached by sending an email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com as well as Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.