Questions and Answers
Q: Would the bond issue increase the auto vehicle tax annually?
Yes. For the bond life of 20 years, the annual tax for a vehicle will increase.
Q: Will a request for qualifications (RFQ) or request for proposals (RFP) be advertised for architectural and/or engineering services? If so, what will be the format of the RFQ/RFP? If not, how will these consultants be selected?
If the bond passes, the District will issue a request for qualifications for both architectural/engineering services and construction administration services in accordance with all state laws. Once all qualifications are submitted and evaluated, a contract will be negotiated for the services.
Q: Is the Board elected or appointed?
The School Board for Long Beach School District is appointed by the Board of Alderman of the City of Long Beach.
Q: I live outside the city limits but am in Long Beach School District. Can I vote on the bond?
Yes. If you live within the Long Beach School District boundaries, you are eligible to vote on the bond issue.
Q: How many years will it take to payoff the bond ?
The bond is a 20-year note.
Q: The LBSD needs to give us specific examples on one's home tax increase rather than the calculator. For example, If I pay $1,600 per year in taxes now, then my tax bill will be XYZ dollars with the bond issue component.
Examples of estimated tax totals including the proposed bond increase for homeowners (younger than 65 years of age) with homestead exemption are:
- Assessed Value $75,000, current taxes $630.53, estimated new total with bond
- Assessed Value $100,000, current taxes $990.70, estimated new total with bond
- Assessed Value $150,000, current taxes $1711.05, estimated new total with bond
- Assessed Value $200,000, current taxes $2431.40, estimated new total with bond
Please use the tax calculator provided for tax increase estimates more specific to actual individual property values.
Q: What are the amounts of the existing bonds?
- 3-mill note ending in 2020 = $179,000 balance
- 3-mill note ending in 2029 = $4,355,000
Q: Will there be Quality Assurance checks as work progresses and who will be conducting these checks? (i.e. HVAC equipment, plumbing, electrical installed correctly) Also, will there be steps taken to assure there is no nepotism that takes place during the entire process?
There will be inspections and quality assurance checks made during the entire project. There will be a construction manager that will be responsible for approving all work before payment is made. There will be a formal bid process that will help to eliminate any potential nepotism and keep the process transparent.
Q: How many taxpayers are registered voters? How many registered voters live in Long Beach?
Long Beach School District does not maintain that information. To get the voter information you will need to contact Harrison County Circuit Clerk. Only those registered voters that reside inside the Long Beach School District will be eligible to vote in the bond election.
Q: Why was this not bid out?
We can not bid and award a project until we have resource available to cover the project. We are using estimates on the cost to determine the scope of the project.
Q: What renovations to existing classrooms can be expected?
All but one hallway will receive renovations. During the construction phases, the proposed plans may change slightly.
Q: How many additional classrooms will be added?
Once all phases are completed, the current proposal will create five to seven more classrooms than are currently available and over 30 classrooms will be brand new construction with others receiving renovations. It will also include a new gym and a 400-seat arts complex.
Q: When might renderings of the renovation be available?
Renderings are now available and can be viewed on this Bond page. They can also be viewed on Facebook and at all of the Town Hall meetings.
Q: Why are we unable to provide our own ROTC for our children but are able to build a new school?
A JROTC program must be funded from operational funds. Funds generated from this bond issue cannot be used to fund recurring operational costs. It must be used for the renovation and new construction of buildings on the High School campus.
Q: So, taxpayers will be footing the bill if this bond passes? If, so, are ONLY tax paying residents allowed to vote on this bond issue?
All registered voters in Long Beach School District are allowed to vote on this bond issue.
Q: How many grants have been pursued to help defer the cost of a new school since school districts are limited on what they can borrow, and could you please tell me what the law is?
The grants the district has pursued have been used to upgrade technology, replace buses, and add additional instructional staff. There are not currently any grants available for renovation and construction of facilities for MS School Districts. We are constantly monitoring the state legislature for any funding opportunities for facilities construction and upgrades. MS Code 37-59-11 mandates bond elections and 37-59-5 limits the borrowing authority.
Q: Why are you considering renovating the ancient high school when the property where Harper McCaughan is located was purchased to build a Long Beach School District campus?
The resources available will not build a new high school on a new location. We are limited by law to $20 million and feel that replacing the oldest buildings and renovating the newer buildings is the only realistic way to give our students the safe, state of the art high school they deserve.
Q: Who are we entrusting with this $20 million?
You are entrusting the school district with the $20 million. We will pay the contractor as work is completed. The district is subject to audit at any time and has an annual financial audit.
Q: Who will be going the work of building this new school? Did we take bids and check references here?
We will bid the project and award the contract to the lowest and best bidder.
Q: What is the breakdown for the use of the $20,000,000?
All $20,000,000 will be used for the construction and renovation of the high school campus.
Q: How will new insurance amounts be paid for in the future?
District funds will pay the insurance premiums.
Q: What is the highest millage amount and debt allowed by the school system?
The maximum millage for operations is 55 mill. The district has been at this maximum for more than 15 years. There are two types of debt limits, one is 3 mills which the district is currently paying back and will have paid back in 2028. The other is a bond issue and we are limited to 15% of the assessed valuation of the properties in Long Beach School District.
Q: How was the amount of the bond being requested estimated?
$20 million is the maximum amount allowed by law. Once we had our available resources identified, we designed the project to stay within our means, while still providing a safe, state of the art facility for our students. All amounts are estimates provided by Eley Guild Hardy Architects.
Q: How much goes toward athletic and other extracurricular activities?
All bond proceeds will be spent on the construction and renovation of the High School facilities. This will include an academic complex and new science labs, an auditorium and a gym.
Q: Does the district have any bonds that are currently financed, and if so, when do they end?
The district has two notes currently outstanding. The total tax levy on these two notes is 3 mills. One will pay off in 2020 and the other will pay off in 2029. These notes are paid with funds received under a different borrowing authority and will not affect the proposed bond issue.
The proceeds of these bonds were used for multiple renovation and updating projects on all campuses, except Harper and new HV/AC at all schools, except Harper.
Q: What are the estimated costs for procuring the new bond?
It will cost the district between $10,000 and $15,000 to run the bond election.
Q: What will the district do with the land by Harper McCaughan since the high school will not be built there?
The district will use the property to ensure we have room for growth in the elementary schools. Our existing lower elementary schools are aging and will need to be replaced in the next 20 years.
Q: If this bond passes, when will construction begin?
Q: I've been hearing "NEW" school but also hearing it's really a renovation of parts of the existing school.
We are proposing a hybrid project that will add some new buildings and renovate some of the others.
Q: Where is the information about what this bond issue will specifically address?
We will begin presenting this information at the Informational Meeting on Thursday, June 28th at 6 p.m. at Long Beach High School.
Q: What is the estimated increase in taxes for a home valued at $200,000?
A homeowner that files Homestead Exemption will see an increase of approximately $250
Q: What will be done to alleviate the flooding in the stadium parking lot where the students park?
The school district has been, and will continue to work with the city and the county to alleviate the drainage and flooding issues at Long Beach High School. They are looking at drainage flow and what possible solutions there are that will eliminate the problem.
Q: Where will the students have class when the buildings are being torn down and/or renovated?
There are several options currently being discussed to house the classes that would be disrupted by construction and renovation. There are classrooms on the campus that are empty during teachers’ off blocks as well as the possibility of using the rooms at LBMS being vacated when the USM Autism Project moves out.
Q: Will there be a new gym?
Yes. The current gym will remain on campus and be used as a practice facility and for other school-related purposes. There will be a new competition gym built during one of the construction phases.
Q: Will there be an auditorium for performances?
Yes. The new buildings and renovations will be done in phases. Part of one of the phases will be to build an auditorium which will be large enough for band, choir and theatre performances for our district.
Q: What will this mean for my taxes? How will this affect me?
The new taxes generated from this proposed bond issue would mean approximately $250/year on a $200,000 home. This does not include any allowable exemptions for which the homeowner may be eligible. Please use the tax links and calculator provided below on this page to calculate how the proposed bond issue will affect your property taxes. A car tag on a vehicle valued at $15,000 would increase by approximately $55 per year. Please contact the County Tax Assessor for a specific amount.
Q: Why are we going to do a combination build/remodel instead of building an entirely new high school on the property by Harper McCaughan?
A school district’s borrowing power is limited by law. The maximum that Long Beach can ask for is not sufficient to build an entirely new structure on the additional property the district owns by Harper McCaughan Elementary. This plan will allow us to build new where it is needed as well as renovate and upgrade what we can safely keep to provide an overall safe state-of-the-art school for our students.
Q: Why do we need a new high school?
Long Beach High School was built in the 1950s. Since that time additional buildings and renovations have been constructed. The end result is the current building structure with 49 entrances and exits. With school security becoming a more prominent issue, it is imperative that a new school structure with a limited number of controlled access points is required to secure our students and our campus.
In addition to securing the campus, the district is currently undergoing an energy audit. Money being spent to maintain old systems and heat/cool the current inefficient structures can be redirected into the classrooms and into more and better technology for our students.