We attended the Riverside School Board this evening and it was the perfect meeting to attend. They had their consultants discussing the options of spending taxpayers’ money to renovate versus building a whole new school.
Are you ready for some numbers?
The current high school and junior high school is 263,784 square feet.
Based on the new state standards our high school capacity is 824 students, but we have an existing enrollment of 1,063. The junior high school capacity is 573 students, but our existing enrollment is 735. Total capacity is 1,397 students and the total existing enrollment is 1,798….so we are about 29% over capacity.
The new master plan calls for 287,000 square feet. An increase of 23,216 square feet (8.8%) over the existing building.
- The estimated costs for the new schools currently under construction was $38.5 million. They are $2.4 million over budget, but hope to reduce that by selling of the existing old school buildings and land. They estimate that they will be ~$200 – $300K over budget. It will be covered by the permanent building fund, so no need to go back to the taxpayers.
- In 2013, it was estimated that the cost to renovate the school was $41.8 million.
- In 2019, it is now estimated that the cost to renovate and add the square footage will be $66.6 million.
A new 6 – 12 school will be $78.3 million, but with all the “bells and whistles” it will approach $100 million!
We asked the question how much millage will be required to pay for the $100 million new school. We were told at a term of 37 years, it will require approximately 4.56 mills.
Let’s do the math on what that means for the taxpayers:
[Remember 1 mill = $35.00 per $100,000 of home valuation]
$100,000 home valuation = 4.56 mills x $35.00 = $159.60 per year
$200,000 home valuation = 4.56 mills x $35.00 x 2 = $319.20 per year
$300,000 home valuation = 4.56 mills x $35.00 x 3 = $478.80 per year
$400,000 home valuation = 4.56 mills x $35.00 x 4 = $638.40 per year
$500,000 home valuation = 4.56 mills x $35.00 x 5 = $798.00 per year
Please remember your HAT % (Housing Affordability Threshold)…..divide your estimated property tax increase by .3 to determine the minimum annual income increase you will need to pay for the tax increase.
For example: If you own a $300,000 house, your increase in property tax will be $478.80 per year, but you will need an extra $1,596.00 ($478.80 / .3) in annual income to avoid moving closer to being priced out of your home.
Although the school board has not decided when to place the levy on the ballot, they did not rule out November 2019 when we asked the question for a date.