FPC gets preliminary costs for options

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Preliminary costs for six potential options to deal with the District's enrollment growth were presented to the Facilities Planning Committee at their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Before the preliminary costs were presented, Assistant Superintendent Sherri Cyra shared the Third Friday September official figures and noted enrollment is growing faster than projected. The District budgeted for a 140-student increase for 2017-18 but had gained more than 180 students across all three levels. In addition there are 355 students enrolled in 4K, the largest 4K class ever for MCPASD and 49 students more than UW-Madison's Applied Population Lab projected.

Eppstein Uhen Architect's Jackie Gilles and Chris Michaud then reviewed the six preliminary options. Gilles reminded the FPC that options may be packaged together or broken apart. She also noted that boundary changes will be required at the elementary and middle school levels no matter which options are selected by the Board of Education. Finally, she said no one option will solve the capacity challenges.

Michaud noted nothing has changed with Option 1, which is a proposal to build a new elementary school with potential capacity for 525 students at the Pope Farm site, since it was first shared with the FPC in September. He also noted nothing has changed with Option 4, which is a proposal to build a new middle school with potential capacity for 550 students at the Pope Farm site.

He said there were changes made to Option 2a, which is a proposal for an addition at renovation at Park, based on feedback from the FPC, principal Monica Schommer and other administrators. The proposed addition would make it a four-section school and potentially increase capacity by 100 students.

Option 2b is a proposal for an addition and renovation at West Middleton. The proposed addition would make it a five-section school and potentially increase capacity by 100 students.

Option 3 is a proposal for an addition and renovation at Glacier Creek. The proposed option would add a wing with 12 classrooms on the northeast part of the building. The school would then have a potential capacity of 1,200 students, nearly identical to Kromrey, the District's other middle school.

Option 5 is a proposal to add a building adjacent to Parmenter Street and involve a partnership with the city. This stand-alone high school building would potentially increase capacity to 2,900 students. This option would also include a two-phase extensive renovation and addition at MHS.

Option 6 is a new proposal based on feedback from the FPC about concerns with the campus idea of Option 5. In Option 6, MHS would remain a single building, with additions creating capacity for up to 3,000 students. This option would include demolishing some of the current building and would be a two-phase extensive renovation and addition at MHS.

Matt Premo and Brian Malich of J.H. Findorff & Son then explained what is covered and not covered in potential costs. They also shared how Findorff determines the cost for renovation, new construction and site work on each potential option. Premo noted there is a range now but a final amount will be determined before the Board decides what referendum questions, if any, to put on the ballot in November 2018.

The preliminary costs for each option are:

  • Option 1 (new elementary school): $34.4 million to $38.1 million
  • Option 2a (Park): $10.4 million to $11.6 million
  • Option 2b (West Middleton): $10.9 million to $12 million
  • Option 3 (Glacier Creek): $13.5 million to $15 million
  • Option 4 (new middle school): $40.5 million to $44.8 million
  • Option 5 (high school building at Parmenter site): $89 million to $98.4 million
  • Option 6 (high school at current site): $93.3 million to $103.4 million

Tammy Olszewski of Ehlers then covered the preliminary tax impact. She provided bond estimate amounts for $100 million, $150 million and $200 million of borrowing. She noted other assumptions include property tax growth of 3 percent for first three years, 2 percent for next three years and 1 percent in remaining years. Director of Business Services Lori Ames noted that property values in the District grew by more than 5 percent each of the past two years.

Other assumptions included that the District will maintain its Aaa bond rating and that the interest rate was based on Oct. 9, 2017 plus an additional 1 percent to account for market fluctuations. Olszewski also said it was based on a 20-year bond.

The tax mill rate impact would be:

  • 0.76 cents for $100 million worth of borrowing
  • $1.23 for $150 million worth of borrowing
  • $1.72 for $200 million worth of borrowing

She showed the tax impact on homes worth $100,000, $300,000 and $500,000. Ames also reminded the FPC that the District will need to do an operational referendum question to pay for staff and utilities and that the Board will have to determine what that amount would be.

The FPC then spent nearly an hour on individual and small group reflection about the options and preliminary costs. They prioritized their thoughts, which will be shared by co-chairs Luke Francois and Bob Hesselbein when they present to the Board of Education on Nov. 6.

The District is planning community workshops at Kromrey on Nov. 28 and Glacier Creek on Dec. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A presentation will be provided and attendees will have an opportunity to meet members of the FPC and administration, ask questions of EUA and Findorff representatives and share their feedback on the options and preliminary costs.