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Cardiff issues school bonds early

ENCINITAS — Cardiff School District officials agreed to issue the last part of its Measure GG bonds earlier than expected in an effort to save taxpayers from rising interest rates.

The school board unanimously approved the move at its Dec. 13 board meeting, acting on a recommendation from its financial adviser to take advantage of the current interest rates, which are set to continue to rise in coming years. 

“There has been a steady increase in interest rates since we issued our first series of bonds in 2017,” trustee Mark Whitehouse said in a news release. “With that trend expected to continue, and the uncertainty around international trade and geopolitical issues at play, we decided it was wise to issue the bonds now rather than wait until 2020. We are also very pleased that this will save the taxpayers money.”

Measure GG, approved by voters in 2016, is a $22 million campaign that includes the rebuilding of Cardiff Elementary School, replacing leaky roofs, renovating or replacing deteriorating plumbing and sewer systems and upgrading inadequate electrical systems, and replacing aging temporary portables with new classrooms at Cardiff School and Ada Harris School.

The district sold $14 million in bonds in 2017. By issuing the second set of bonds now, the district expects to save taxpayers $3 million in interest over the 29-year bond repayment.

Currently, the Cardiff redesign plans call for the school to be rebuilt in three phases. The first two phases will comprise the majority of the rebuild, including 18 regular and specialty classrooms; new extended day rooms and playgrounds; kitchen and lunch areas; new blacktop, play fields and play structures; a multipurpose room with adjacent music room and outdoor assembly seating area; and a drop-off and pick-up zone with additional parking.

The third phase, which includes three specialty classrooms and two regular classrooms, will remain part of the future site master plan, to be built as future growth and funding allow.

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