District gets top bond rating on Hudson Middle School projectThe Hudson Board of Education gave approval to a series of bids to complete a $2 million addition to the Hudson Middle School. Work begins this month with the project scheduled to be completed by the start of second semester in January 2011.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The Hudson Board of Education gave approval to a series of bids to complete a $2 million addition to the Hudson Middle School. Work begins this month with the project scheduled to be completed by the start of second semester in January 2011.
The board also found out that the district’s Moody’s bond rating has been upgraded to Aa1, the second highest available. The new rating applies to the $1 million in bonds to be applied to the middle school project. The money is interest free to the district as part of the federal government’s qualified school construction bond offering. The savings on the bond issue is estimated at approximately $300,000.
The remaining $1 million for the project is being taken from the district’s general fund earmarked for capital projects.
The bond report was made by Brian Brewer, a director with Baird of Milwaukee. He told the board that there are only six other districts in the state with the highest AAA rating and only 80 nationwide, and that only 10 other districts have the Aa1 rating Hudson has earned.
Brewer said the Moody’s report pointed to several factors as the reason for the improved rating including strong financial operations, continued focus on financial controls and costs, a low debt burden and financial reserve and levying under the allowable limit for the past several years.
Those factors coupled with the district’s advantageous proximity to the Twin Cities and continued population and commercial growth despite the economic slow-down brought about the upgraded rating from the previous Aa2 rating set in July of 2009.
Representatives of Hoffman Total Project Management, the firm overseeing the HMS addition presented the board with the bids to complete the project. Bids were let in 28 categories with 99 bids submitted. Special effort was made to attract as many local contractors as possible. Local subcontractors who had worked with Hoffman on the River Crest Elementary project were among those who were requested to bid. The recommended package included three Hudson area contractors including Zappa Brothers Excavation, Painting America Inc. and J&L Steel.
Hoffman also reported that it appears that additional storage space below the addition will be able to be added to the project in addition to some tile work and door replacement within the $2 million budget.