Chariho School Parents’ Forum

February 24, 2007

Bond campaign

Filed under: Budget,Chariho — Editor @ 10:30 am

It appears the campaign for the bond is starting early this year.  I’ll post comments later but one point of interest – if you do the math you will notice that the RYSE building and space for the 6th graders is about $350 per sq ft.  For comparison, URI is building a biotech lab @ $250 sq ft.

[Chariho Times] 

CHARLESTOWN – Will Charlestown taxpayers save money if the three towns of the Chariho School District choose to adopt a one-third-payment plan for the $26 million bond to renovate and add additions to the Switch Road Campus?

Richard Hosp thinks so. On Monday, Feb. 12 he gave a presentation to the Charlestown Town Council outlining how Charlestown would save money with the one-third-payment plan.

 

After the presentation the council voted to approve a resolution in favor of the bond, but not the one-third-payment plan.

 

The council was not opposed to the one-third-payment plan but wanted to wait until the bond is approved in the fall or alternatively, make an amendment to the Chariho Act.

Right now the three towns of Chariho pay for the school budget on an enrollment basis. Charlestown pays for 28 percent while Hopkinton and Richmond pay for 36 percent of the budget.

 

Hosp argued that even though Charlestown would have to pay 33 percent of the bond, that the town would save money over the long run this way, rather than paying for capital improvements through the town’s annual school budget payments.

 

“It is cheaper, even for Charlestown, to pass a bond issue and pay one-third the cost than to see the bond issue defeated and pay an equal amount of annual capital expenditures spread over 20 years. In this illustration, over the 20 year period it would be $712,031 cheaper for Charlestown to pass the $25,000,000 bond at 33 percent than to ‘pay as you go’ at 28 percent,” said Hosp during his presentation to the council.

 

Hosp, a member of the Chariho Finance Committee and the Charlestown Budget Commission, said that passing the bond could collectively save Chariho taxpayers approximately $5.6 million versus annually spending $1.25 million for the next 20 years or more.

 

Hosp explained the example of repaying a 20-year $25 million bond at a 4.65 percent debt service rate versus annually paying for $25 million in capital costs at a 6.5 percent building inflation rate. Hosp’s presentation explained how “bond versus pay as you go” is more cost effective.

 

On Thursday, Feb. 15 the Chariho Building Committee voted 9-1 to approve the $26 million bond, to be paid over a time period of 25-30 years, for $25,823,750 in capital improvements to the campus.

 

The bond includes $18 million in renovations and additions to the High School, Middle School and a school for the Reaching Youth through Support and Education (RYSE) program. The RYSE program services at-risk kids and provides alternative programs for students in the grades 7 through 12.

 

State housing aid will reimburse 56 percent of the cost for new construction and 60 percent for renovations. That’s if the Chariho School Committee approves the construction application on Wednesday, Feb 21 and files it with Rhode Island’s Department of Education by Feb. 22.

In his town council presentation Hosp said that if the towns decide to go with the pay-as-you go plan, there’s no guarantee that the state reimbursement rate would stay at 56 and 60 percent. In fact, he said it would likely decrease.

 

The next step is for the state legislature to authorize that the towns can vote on the bond and then the town councils will have to vote to approve the bond once again.

In concluding his presentation Hosp said, “The three town have not had a cooperative relationship with each other or the school committee or the school administration and the district has not passed a bond issue since 1986.”

 

Some residents have said that one of the issues that has kept the towns of Chariho from approving a bond issue is that the elementary schools have neglected for too long.

Before and during the Feb. 12 council meeting, Chariho School Committee member Andrew McQuaide explained that if the bond passes the school district would be better able to make improvements to the elementary schools.

 

The district would be able to take some of the money the pay-as-you-go system would have allocated to annual cost expenditures and put it towards the elementary schools.

School Budget

 

At the Feb. 13 school committee meeting, the committee voted 8-2 to approve a recommended budget of $50.3 million. Committee member Giancarlo Cicchetti was the dissenting vote and said he voted against the budget because it depended too much on the bond passing.

Residents will vote on the school budget on April 10 during an all-day referendum vote. Before that on Tuesday, March 6 at the Chariho 7 p.m. there will be a public meeting to discuss the budget at the Chariho Middle School.

 

After the budget proposal was approved, committee members McQuaide and Andrew Polouski supported the approval of the bond. “If this bond gets voted down its going to drastically affect the operations of the school,” said Polouski.

 

The following are the list of proposed improvements to the campus:

 

$3.92 million for the RYSE School:

 

*      $2,880,000 for a new 12,000-square-foot structure

*      $708,000 is site costs and contingency allocations

*      $250,000 is engineering and architecture

 

$2.98 for the Chariho Middle School:

 

*      $972,000 for three new classrooms

*      $881,000 for school improvements – refurbishing lockers, upgrades to intercom system, bells and clocks, and door replacements

*      $502,000 for construction contingencies

*      $294,000 for new auditorium renovation (including upgrades to audio and stage lighting systems; the purchase of a new stage curtain, and carpet replacements

 

$15.42 for Chariho High School

 

*      $3,552,000 for additions to the school library, agricultural classrooms, band room, and cafeteria expansion

*      $2,556,000 for construction contingencies

*      $2,000,000 replacement of the school’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system

*      $1,120,000 for architectural and engineering fees

 

$2.01 million for Campus improvements

 

*      $630,000 in building costs for a new district maintenance facility

*      $400,000 for the running track

*      $343,000 in for construction contingencies

*      $250,000 for re-paving campus

 

$1,48 million for other project costs

 

*      Project management, legal and advertising cost, bonding costs, and more money contingency

  

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1 Comment »

  1. […] most recent noise comes from Richard Hosp, who claims that this bond is a bargain because, “structure inflation is […]

    Pingback by My response to the article in the previous post « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — March 14, 2007 @ 9:00 pm | Reply


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