top of page
pencils and books.png

School Bond Update

Synopsis of School Bond Status (April 20, 2024)

by Jeff Brewer

Bond Referendum

($68 million) passed Nov. 6, 2018 to repair Transylvania County schools.

* COVID-19 “State of Emergency” imposed by Gov. Roy Cooper lasted 2 years, 5 months

(March, 2020 to August, 2022)

*Due to pandemic-related price increases and supply chain issues, construction bids exceeded funds available to perform full scope of work.

(17% to 35% construction cost increases!)


The Issue

The Board of Education was trying to hit a moving target on construction costs and scope of work (largely due to COVID-19).

The Board of Commissioners were not allowed to approve or submit for approval per LGC (Local Government Commission) guidelines an open-ended and incomplete plan. The Commissioners stated they would not approve additional funds exceeding the $68 million bond referendum.


* But, in the meantime, Commissioners have made $9.14 million available to TCS for school capital in the last two years (FY23 and FY24, see list provided).

* Based on last year’s available data, Transylvania County ranked fifth among 100 NC counties in base local (county) appropriations per pupil ($4,000.26). This is calculated by current education spending divided by average daily school membership.


The Solution: Education Capital Work Group

* Mentioned as possible solution at Aug. 2, 2022 at Board of Education meeting

* At Sept. 19, 2022 meeting, BOE authorized TCS Superintendent to work with this group (Dr. Lisa Fletcher was appointed for ’23-24 school year)

* This Work Group at a joint Mar. 4, 2024 meeting presented a comprehensive, 10-year plan ($94 million/$121 million) taking into account needs for all district buildings.

* At its Mar. 11, 2024 meeting, Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Education Capital Work Group’s 10-year plan.

* At its Mar. 18, 2024 meeting, Board of Education unanimously approved Phase 1 Bond Projects (based on the Work Group’s plan) totaling about $43 million aimed at improving existing school infrastructure.


* Board of Education is working in conjunction with the Board of Commissioners to agree to and complete plans and cost estimates for projected projects by the end of July so all requirements/applications can be reviewed by all parties for submission to the October LGC meeting for approval. That is the earliest opportunity to make this bond request!

* The bond referendum has a 7-year shelf life. Why? For the very reasons we’ve experienced… Uncertainty. Unforeseen circumstances. If Board of Education has its paper work in order, Transylvania will be well within the allowable time frame for the bond request.

* Assuming LGC approves this application/request to issue Bonds in October, funds will start being available in November to begin work on the approved projects. The current proposed plans do not include building new facilities but rather to fix, repair and upgrade current facilities so the work will be done in phases based on best use of available funds. The Boards are not requesting the issuance of all the funds at once but will be requested in phases.

bottom of page