The Warren County School District has applied for an additional $5.2 million Qualified Zone Academy Bond allocation.
"If allocated, it would be used for both Beaty and Eisenhower projects," Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, the director of buildings and grounds, said.
The deadline for applications was Sept. 5 and bonds must be issued, or settled, by the successful applicant by the end of the year.
"This is a competitive allocation; however, we do not know the extent of the competition," Kennerknecht said. "Warren County is in a unique position in that we have qualified projects in design and construction and can meet the very narrow time for restrictions for settlement."
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, according to the U.S. Department of Education, are interest-free bonds that the school district will have 15 years to pay back.
"The money is part of an annual $400 million federal program, appropriated by Congress," according to the Department of Education's website. "Every state's share is administered by the State Department of Education, which allocates the money."
To be eligible for QZAB funding, a school has to have at least 35 percent of its students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, a 10 percent private business contribution, and an education plan for the use of the funds.
According to documentation provided by Kennerknecht, the allocation to the school district would fulfill three of the four QZAB program objectives: creating or renovating space within an existing building's footprint for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, increasing building performance to reduce operational costs and correcting health and safety deficiencies, including school building security upgrades and building code violations.
If successful, the school district will be required to spend 10 percent of the funding in the first six months after the bonds are issued and 100 percent within three years of issuance.
The Beaty project will cost approximately $16.2 million, but the cost of the Eisenhower project is up in the air.
"Until bids are received for the Eisenhower project, the exact amount necessary to fully fund construction is not known," Kennerknecht said.
The K-12 facility elementary expansions at Sheffield and Eisenhower are not covered by QZAB.
"QZAB can only be used for renovations, not new construction," Kennerknecht said. The Sheffield addition is expected to cost $4,962,664, according to PlanCon construction documentation.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is slated to release $6,441,000 in QZAB funding of which the district is seeking $5.2 million.