District records show the Virginia school system entered into a contract with Sun Trust Bank almost a decade ago to pay for HVAC upgrades, lighting, and plumbing improvements but defaulted on that loan before the start of the last school year, which still has a $1.8 million outstanding, Superintendent Haydee Robinson.
Robinson says leading up to that missed payment, the district closed several of its schools and continued to receive significantly less in funding, which most recently led to job and program cuts and a spending freeze.
“We intend to continue to work with SunTrust to achieve a resolution that is fair to both sides,” she said last month. “The representatives of SunTrust have been exceptional to work with throughout the process. They understand the limitations of our budget and the plight of our local economy. They have shown themselves to be good corporate partners and we are pleased with their response to our situation. We are close to finalizing an agreement with them that will resolve this matter. These settlement discussions are being handled by the attorneys and I am not at liberty to go into the details at this point in time other than to say that SunTrust has made a fair proposal and the school system intends to work with the Board of Supervisors to resolve this issue.”
Just last week, Robinson told us “the attorneys continue in the negotiating process to resolve the issue.”
Robinson said the school board and administration were fully informed of the decision to default and said the school board began contacting the bank before the due date last year.
The superintendent said the contract allows the school system to stop payments and end the agreement if the district doesn’t receive adequate appropriations.
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