Sebastian Charter Junior gets 15-year contract extension – if loan approved

SEBASTIAN – Sebastian Charter Junior High School’s contract with the Indian River County School District has been extended to 2026 – if the school’s loan is approved.

Officials at the school are seeking a $2.5 million USDA loan to be used for building a permanent school structure to replace its aging portables.

However, in order to attain that loan, the USDA is requiring the charter school have a 15-year contract with the district.

Superintendent Harry La Cava told the School Board that he would recommend the contract extension, contingent on the charter school securing the loan.

“They were amenable to that,” La Cava said of Sebastian Charter’s leaders.

The school has until June 2011, according to School Board records, and must be awarded at least $1 million.

School Board members did not object to the conditional extension and no one from the charter school spoke on behalf of the issue.

School Board member Carol Johnson thanked the district’s staff and leadership for working with the charter school, noting that such a contract extension request is “very much out of the ordinary.”

School Board member Debbie MacKay asked if the School District would be in any way obligated in the event Sebastian Charter Junior High were to default on its loan.

Deputy Superintendent Michael Degutis told the board that the district would not be on the hook if the school were to default on the loan.

However, the School District might have the first right of refusal on the property, according to Degutis, though the district would most likely not accept.

He explained that the charter school’s construction plans do not call for building to the standards that the district must adhere to.

Sebastian Charter Junior High plans to add the USDA loan to its $1 million Qualified School Construction Bond, which it received from the Florida Department of Education.

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