Throughout the course of the following months we will be adding to the Q&A blog below. Please check back regularly.
Have a questions to ask? Send your questions to: JuskAsk@HenHudSchools.org. Each week a team of District staff will respond to your questions and post them on the Q&A blog.
If the project does not pass, we will still move forward with many of the repairs, due to the conditions of our facilities. Critical improvements must be made with or without the approval of the project. These improvements would need to be funded through our general budget. We would need to drastically increase the budget in order to make these repairs, resulting in a spike in property taxes. Additionally, these repairs would not be eligible for State Aid; the district would need to pay for 100% of the improvements. Funding of a capital project is different from funding the District's general budget, as capital project dollars cannot be used to support any other area of the district's operating budget.
The project will not exceed $12,500,000. We are capping the cost of the project to ensure taxes do not increase. The District will be retiring debt in the 2017-2018 school year and, as a result, we can borrow for this project without an additional tax increase to residents. Moreover, approximately 10% of the project will be reimbursed from the State Education Department, reducing our payments of the borrowing.
The project will positively impact all five schools. Work in the five schools will include, but is not limited to, new paving of roadways, sidewalks and parking lots; improved exterior lighting to improve visibility and enhance security; bathroom and locker room renovations to comply with ADA and related regulations; science classroom and auditorium renovations in the middle and high school to improve student experience and provide 21st century learning facilities; and HVAC, plumbing and electrical upgrades to create more energy-efficient facilities. This proposal does not call for building any new facilities.
The State requires Districts to complete a five-year Building Condition Survey (BCS) that identifies capital improvements that are necessary. Our Survey was completed in the Spring of 2016. The Survey showed approximately $50 million in needed improvements. We are pursuing this project now to address necessary improvements in a timely fashion as well as to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Moreover, we are in a favorable bidding climate and anticipate construction bids to be more competitive, allowing the district the complete more project work with fewer dollars.