SISD pays off part of high school construction debt

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat

The Sherman Independent School District is paying off some of its debts ahead of schedule.

The Sherman Independent School District agreed to pay off more than $4 million of its outstanding debt ahead of schedule.

The district board of trustees agreed to pay off $4.24 million of bond debt related to the new high school project  ahead of schedule as a part of Monday's monthly meeting. This represents the district's latest effort to pay its debts early in an effort to limit long-term costs. 

"We do this about every year to where  we prepay our bonds," said Tyson Bennett, assistant superintendent of finance and operations. "This is a way to save taxpayers on interest costs related to the bonds."

The district plans to pay off a portion of its variable rate bonds dating back to 2018 that were authorized by the bond election the previous year. These bonds covered construction of the new high school, HVAC and energy management improvements at the current high school and district-wide technology improvements.

Currently, $35.4 million of this debt remains.

Bennett said if the decision to move forward with the bond reduction equates to a $4.77 million savings to the district compared to the cost if the district had taken the bonds to their full maximum lifespan.

This represents the most recent efforts by the district to pay off its debts in a timely manner. Bennett said these efforts date back to 2011, and the district has saved more than $37 million because of these efforts.

"The district has always been aggressive in paying down its debt and  paying it off quickly particularly in area where we can pay off the bond early to a savings to the taxpayers."

In addition to the cost savings, Bennett said this decision also frees up some of the district's debt capacity and will allow it to take on additional debt in the future, if a project presented itself.

At this time, the district has no plans for additional debt.

"Knowing that we have growth here in the city, and we will always see future growth, it is important to always prepare for the future," Bennett said. "In being burdened by debt, we want to pay it off as quickly as we can."