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Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: December 18, 2018 - 12/14/18

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

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Scholarships help classified staff pursue careers in Bilingual Education       (Photo) - 12/14/18

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools Classified Staff Bilingual Scholarship Committee has awarded $1500 scholarships to Jose Maya, Marilyn Melgoza, Ana Diaz and Araceli Garcia thanks to a $34,000 grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. This new district scholarship program helps Walla Walla Public Schools’ classified staff pursue careers in Bilingual Education. The district is also using the state grant funds to offer five, $1500 non-renewable scholarships to current seniors attending Walla Walla Public Schools who plan on becoming teachers. Student recipients will be announced in March. 

“We are excited to announce two of our candidates will be student-teaching for us this spring, one will be doing their counseling internship next year and the fourth candidate will be attending WSU Tri-Cities this summer,” said Dr. Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education and Latino Outreach. “The grow your own effort is a positive step forward as we continue to invest in our employees.”

PHOTO (L-R) Ana Diaz , Marilyn Melgoza, Araceli Garcia and Jose Maya.

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Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Executive Session: December 18, 2018 - 12/14/18

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

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Successful Bond Sales Saves Walla Walla Taxpayers Millions (Photo) - 12/13/18

WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Public Schools sold bonds from the successful November 6 General Election Thursday in Seattle that resulted in millions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Favorable market conditions, coupled with the district’s strong Aa3 underlying credit rating, generated robust interest from investors. The competitive 3.2% overall rate, nearly 1% less than preliminary estimates, represents an extremely low borrowing amount, shaving over two years off of bond payments, saving taxpayers over $13.4M in interest payments over the life of the bonds. Superintendent Wade Smith, accompanied by Board Vice President Sam Wells and Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch were all smiles following a successful morning on DA Davidson’s sales floor in Seattle. 

“Today was a real win for our community,” said Smith. “Not only will we be able to pay these bonds off years earlier, the projected bond rate taxpayers will be paying will be the lowest in 10 years.”  

Earlier this week, the district advertised for the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) for the Walla Walla High School project. General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM), often referred to as a “collaborative delivery model,” permits the district to hire the general contractor early on in the design phase, capitalizing on their ability to participate and partner through the pre-construction and design programming, rather than bringing on the firm after the design work is complete. 

Superintendent Smith will soon be visiting with the Bond Oversight Committee to seek a representative to serve on the screening and interview committee as the district proceeds through the GC/CM process that allows it to select the contractor to deliver on the district’s flagship project, Wa- Hi. Community Facilities Task Force member Dean Lodmell has agreed to serve as a representative from the Facility Task Force.

“We have also been busy with our preparation work so that we are ready to break ground on the Wa-Hi science complex next fall,” said Smith “We went out to bid, and successfully contracted with two local firms (Anderson Perry and PBS Environmental), who are busy performing site survey work and required geotechnical studies.”

In early January. Wa-Hi science staff will visit Pullman High School, North Central High School, and Ferris High School to glean ideas and concepts from these brand-new science facilities.

For more information about the bond program, visit the bond website at www.wwpsbond.org or follow progress updates on Twitter @bondwwps

Photo L-R: Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch, Superintendent Wade Smith and School Board Vice President Sam Wells review bond sale documents.

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Attached Media Files: WWPS_Bond_Sale.jpg
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School bonds available for purchase December 13 (Photo) - 12/05/18

WALLA WALLA – Community members interested in purchasing one or some of the $65.6M tax exempt bonds from the November 6 election will have the opportunity December 13.

School Board Vice President Sam Wells and Bond Oversight Committee Chair Scott Morasch will be joining Superintendent Wade Smith for the public sale on December 13.

“We have every intention of selling all of the bonds, and are optimistic that the interest rates will continue to serve favorable for the taxpayers of Walla Walla,” said Superintendent Wade Smith.

Bond Sale Details:

MUNICIPAL BONDS

On or about Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, D.A. Davidson & Co. expects to offer: $65,620,000*

New Issue | Book-Entry Only | Bank Qualified | Maturities*: Dec. 1, 2019-2038

Moody’s Investors Service Rating: “Applied For”

Walla Walla School District No. 140, Walla Walla County, WA

Unlimited Tax General Obligation Bonds, 2018 (Tax-Exempt)

Tax-Exempt: In the opinion of Kutak Rock LLP, Bond Counsel, under existing laws, regulations, rulings and judicial decisions and assuming continuing compliance with certain covenants, interest on the 2018 Bonds is excluded from gross income for federal income tax purposes and is not a specific preference item for purposes of the federal alternative minimum tax.

Purpose: The proceeds of the Bonds, together with other legally available funds, if any, will be used to (i) pay the costs of acquiring, constructing, installing and equipping certain capital improvements to the education facilities of the District and (ii) pay the costs of issuing, selling, and delivering the Bonds.

Maturities/Interest Rates*: The Bonds will mature on December 1, 2019-2047. Interest rates on the Bonds are expected to be established on  or about Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Security: The Bonds are unlimited tax general obligations of the District and, as such, the full faith, credit and resources of the District have been irrevocably pledged for their prompt payment.  For as long as any of the Bonds are outstanding, the District will levy taxes annually without limitation as to rate or amount sufficient, together with other money legally available therefor, to pay when due the principal of and interest on the Bonds.  Payment of principal and interest on the Bonds when due, is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the State of Washington under the provisions of the Washington State School District Credit Enhancement Program.

*Preliminary: subject to change.

Please contact D.A. Davidson & Co. in advance for expected yield information.

The Bonds are subject to availability and to the acceptance of an offer to purchase. This is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy any of these  securities. The offering of these securities is made only by the Official Statement, copies of which are  available from  D.A. Davidson & Co.  D.A. Davidson & Co. member SIPC and FINRA

(509) 526-5755  |  102 W. Main St., Suite 200  |  Walla Walla, WA 99362

For more information about the bond program, visit the bond website at www.wwpsbond.org  or follow progress updates on Twitter @bondwwps

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District receives unanimous approval from state to proceed with alternative construction delivery method (Photo) - 11/30/18

WALLA WALLA - Thursday, Nov. 28, Washington State’s Project Review Committee (PRC) unanimously approved a request from Walla Walla Public Schools to utilize the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) delivery method for the Walla Walla High School bond-related capital improvements. Superintendent Wade Smith, accompanied by members of the district’s design and management team, presented plans to the independent committee as part of the approval process. 

General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM), often referred to as a “collaborative delivery model,” permits the district to hire the general contractor early on in the design phase, capitalizing on their ability to participate and partner through the pre-construction and design programming, rather than bringing on the firm after the design work is complete. According to Smith, who has successfully implemented a similar delivery model in Oregon for many capital improvement projects, the benefits are many. 

“This procurement method allows the district to be much more involved in the selection of the general contractor, permitting us the opportunity to interview prospective firms, take into consideration their location, their outreach and willingness to include smaller businesses/subcontractors in the work, and past performance on similar projects,” said Smith.

Walla Walla High School will be the first project to break ground in the recent voter-approved $65.6M replacement bond that passed at a remarkable 73%. Smith says the proposed Wa-Hi plans overwhelmingly support the alternative delivery model.

“A project that includes complex phasing, construction at an occupied campus, specialized preservation work, safety and security considerations, and tricky environmental site issues with Yellowhawk Creek bisecting the campus, the GC/CM model is well poised to ensure a successful project,” said Smith. 

“This not only allows the general contractor to provide cost-saving suggestions and constructability services early on, it also permits them to be actively involved with staff, scheduling, and devising prudent safety plans well in advance of the construction process,” said Smith. 

With the early involvement of the contractor in the process, ongoing cost estimates and budget monitoring are also enhanced to ensure project plans stay within budget. In addition, the GC/CM process supports improved public transparency in subcontractor selection, allowing better oversight and involvement from the district’s independent Bond Oversight Committee.

For more information about the bond program, visit the bond website at www.wwpsbond.org or follow progress updates on Twitter @bondwwps
 

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Attached Media Files: Wade_Smith.jpg
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Hisaw steps away from Walla Walla High School football program (Photo) - 11/29/18

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla High School Head Football Coach Eric Hisaw has resigned his position after eight seasons as the Blue Devil gridiron leader. Hisaw has two teenage boys who will both be at Wa-Hi next year and says he is planning to spend more time supporting their activities. 

“My oldest son will be on a very talented cross country team and my youngest will be playing 9th grade football,” said Hisaw. “I want to be at everything they do, and have missed too many of their events while being head football coach.”

Hisaw says his time as head football coach has been a highlight of his educational career. He says he will miss his time with the student-athletes, game and practice preparation and life-changing opportunities to positively impact the lives of young people.

“It has always been a dream of mine to be a head football coach, and I will hold these years dear to my heart forever,” said Hisaw. “I wish the Blue Devil Football program the very best in the future.”

Hisaw said he wanted to make his announcement at this time to allow ample time to hire a new coach and ensure the off-season tasks would not be interrupted. District Athletic Director Dirk Hansen appreciates Hisaw’s leadership, professionalism and passion for Wa-Hi football. 

“I would like to thank Coach Eric Hisaw for his service as Head Football Coach for Walla Walla High School,” said Hansen. “Coach Hisaw has a strong desire to spend more time with his family and is excited to follow his two boys as they participate in athletics at Wa-Hi.”

A job posting for a new head football coach is being prepared and will be made public soon. 

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Attached Media Files: Eric_Hisaw.jpg
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School board approves resolution for bond sale (Photo) - 11/21/18

WALLA WALLA – Walla Walla Public Schools’ Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution 09-2018 during the Nov. 21 school board meeting authorizing Superintendent Wade Smith to set in motion the voter-approved sale of $65.6M in bonds. 

“The comprehensive, 65-page resolution spells out the process, and reaffirms our district's commitment to deliver on our promises made; to replace our current debt with a no tax rate increase, to only spend bond proceeds on voter approved projects, and to return any remaining dollars remaining back to the taxpayers by buying down outstanding debt,” said Smith. 

The next step for Superintendent Smith is to work closely with the district’s bond counsel, bond underwriter DA Davidson, and the municipal adviser to finalize and publically submit the Preliminary Official Statement to the market. Once completed, Superintendent Smith will then provide contact information for the local Walla Walla agency who can work with interested individuals regarding the purchase of the bonds. Superintendent Smith expects the statement to be completed next week. 

“Although I am not permitted to release any detailed information about bond buying specifics until that time, I can share that we have intentionally packaged the bonds into smaller increments to allow opportunity for any local individual or organization who is interested to place bids on portions of the par amount,” said Smith. “The bonds are set to mature over the anticipated 19-year-term and interest will be paid semiannually each June and December to investors.”

The sale of the bonds has been tentatively set for December 13 on the trading floor in Seattle. Superintendent Smith, School Board Vice President and financial professional Sam Wells, and Chairman of the Bond Oversight Committee Scott Morasch will be present to provide oversight.

In the coming months, the WWPS bond planning team will begin working closely with staff and stakeholders, design professionals, and local municipalities to complete the necessary design work to support bid documents and construction.

“We are anticipating a number of safety/security and roofing improvements to begin late spring/summer 2019 across many of our campuses, and breaking ground on the new Walla Walla High School science facility early next school year.” 

For bond updates and additional information:
Web – wwpsbond.org
Twitter - @bondwwps

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Attached Media Files: Wade_Smith.jpg
Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Special Meeting: November 20, 2018 - 11/16/18

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835

Walla Walla Public Schools Board of Directors Regular Business Meeting: November 20, 2018 - 11/16/18

Supporting documents are available via the following link:  https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicHome.aspx?ak=1001835