Shelbyville's industrial development board has approved a $5 million educational facilities bond for a number of ongoing and future projects at The Webb School in Bell Buckle.
The projects are part of a newly approved strategic plan and also a master building plan being developed by the school's Board of Trustees, Webb director of communications Rita Mitchell said.
"Industrial development bond financing is a good way for a school like Webb to make capital improvements to its campus, and we have done so before with excellent results," said Forrest Shoaf, chair of the school's finance and audit committee.
"We have a good relationship with the Shelbyville Industrial Development Board, and we are pleased that the board is working with us again as we undertake a major upgrade of our facilities," Shoaf said. "We are also pleased that we are able to effect this financing at a time when interest rates are at historical lows and the school's finances are in good shape."
The funds from the bond are to be used for debt incurred when the Barton Athletic Center was constructed and the former Sain property was purchased.
The home on the Sain property was demolished in July after efforts to convert the structure for a variety of uses were deemed cost-prohibitive due to the expenses to renovate and upgrade the house to bring it up to current code standards.
Mitchell said that the bond will also allow the Webb board "to move forward more quickly on projects that will enhance academics and facilities at the school." Current projects include expansion of the Davis-Woosley Computer Science Center, as well as construction of a faculty residential addition to Cooper-Farris Dormitory.
Future projects which may be considered as part of a master plan include construction of a new student center and a dormitory, renovation of the current student center as an Alumni and Development Center, and other small maintenance upgrades, she said.
The bond will also be used to pay off the prior debt of the bond they now owe and to raise the new structures, according to Charles A. Grice, of the Nashville law firm Stites and Harbison, who attended the industrial board meeting on behalf of Webb.
The $5 million bond will be purchased by Suntrust Bank and loaned to the school on a line of credit basis and Webb will draw from it as the construction and renovations continue.
Starting in November 2017, the principal balance of the bond will be payable in 240 monthly installments, with the final payment due Sept. 1, 2037. On that date, the entire unpaid principal and all accrued and unpaid interest will be due.
Shoaf said their fund raising efforts during Head of School Ray Broadhead's tenure "have been particularly successful, and our board expects this trend to continue, which will help us to make timely repayment of the bond."
"In short, there has never, in our opinion, been a better time to undertake a financing like this, and we are grateful to the Industrial Development Board for allowing us to do so," he said.