Capital Project Proposal Overview
On March 30, 2017, the Board of Education voted to reduce the scope of the Capital Project from $196.4 million dollars to $106.3 million dollars. The community will vote on the revised Capital Project on May 16, 2017. The revised project includes security upgrades to all buildings K--12, addition and renovation work necessary for the conversion of the 7--8 junior high school to a 6--8 middle school, additional classroom space at Boght Hills, additional music classrooms and special education classrooms throughout the elementary buildings, enhanced library/media centers at all elementary schools, science and technology labs at all elementary schools, as well as site and field work on the Shaker High School/Shaker Junior High School campus.
Costs, Taxation, and Financing
- The total cost of the project is $106.3M including the cost of construction, architectural fees, construction management fees and all other project-related costs. This amount also includes design/construction contingency, which takes into account cost increases and inflation factors which may occur since construction will take place over several years.
The tax impact is estimated to be a 0.49 percent tax rate increase. This rate hike will not begin until the 2021-22 school year and will be phased in over three years. At the highest point, the annual tax increase on a median assessed value home is estimated to be $21.32 with enhanced state aid.
The project will initially be financed by short term bond anticipation notes. As project phases are completed, serial bonds will be issued. Bond issues will have a life of 15 or 20 years dependent upon how building aid will be paid by New York State.
Because of the compressed timeline with a May vote and State Education’s long timelines for approval, we are not able to capture enhanced building aid (69%) for the entire project. However, the prospects are very good for capturing the enhanced state aid (69%) for phase one of the project, specifically, the additions and renovations at the middle school and 3 of the elementary buildings. The remainder of the project (phase two) will be aided at 52%.
Regardless of the building project, with 900 additional students we will need to hire additional teachers, bus drivers, etc. The project cost of $106.3M only covers the costs related to construction and does not cover any additional operating costs for more staffing due to higher enrollment. We plan to cover these higher operational costs as part of the annual budget through continued growth in the tax base, additional state aid resulting from growth in enrollment, and breakage stemming from the retirements of staff.