Facilities Planning FAQs

 
1) What are the priorities of the school system in planning facility improvements?
2) What is the average age of our facilities?
3) What would it cost to renovate the Middle School and bring it up to current facility standards? What would it cost to build a new Middle School?
4) What would it cost to renovate the High School and bring it up to current facility standards? What would it cost to build a new High School?
5) Will my property taxes go up to fund the capital outlay projects?
6) What is ESPLOST?
7) What are the sources of revenue being used to fund capital outlay projects?
8) How much of the cost is paid by the local taxpayer?
9) Why fund capital outlay projects with Bonds?
10) What projects have my sales tax dollars been used for?
11) What projects will my future sales tax dollars be used for?
12) Is there a plan in place for addressing traffic congestion?
13) What will happen to the Middle School facility if a new one is built?
14) What is the timeline for facility planning?

 

 
1) What are the priorities of the school system in planning facility improvements?

               The master facility planning process prioritized the safety and security of students and staff. The health of our students and staff was also prioritized as a concern. Access to programming opportunities for our students was a priority. The current and future life-cycle costs and energy efficiency of facilities was prioritized. Finally, the fiscal responsibility and funding of facility renovations and replacement with new facilities was given priority.

2) What is the average age of our facilities?

               The oldest building on the High School campus was constructed in 1948 with the average age of all buildings being 37.38 years old. The oldest Middle School building was constructed in 1952 and all buildings have an average age of 33.9 years. The Primary School (after summer renovations of the Hill Building) will have an average age of 17.57 years with the oldest building being constructed originally in 1958. The Elementary School building was first constructed in 1990 and overall has an average age of 16 years.

3) What would it cost to renovate the Middle School and bring it up to current facility standards? What would it cost to build a new Middle School?

               It would cost approximately 12,822,753 to renovate the Middle School facility and bring all buildings up to current code and facility standards. Of these costs, local funds would contribute 11,694,615 and state funding sources would contribute 1,128,138.

               A new Middle School facility would cost approximately 20,288,218. Of these costs, local funds would contribute 12,751,762 and state funding sources would contribute 7,536,456.

4) What would it cost to renovate the High School and bring it up to current facility standards? What would it cost to build a new High School?

               It would cost approximately 16,101,537 to renovate the High School facility and bring all buildings up to current code and facility standards. Of these costs, local funds would contribute 14,836,183 and state funding sources would contribute 1,265,354.

A new High School facility would cost approximately 19,936,604. (Freshman Academy and Gymnasium will not be replaced). Of these costs, local funds would contribute 13,771,580 and state funding sources would contribute 6,165,024.

5) Will my property taxes go up to fund the capital outlay projects?

               The school system is proposing a continuation of the current 1 penny sales tax (ESPLOST) in order to fund capital outlay projects. Property taxes will not be used in this scenario as a funding source, as long as the sales tax referendum is continued for the next two cycles (November, 2015 and November, 2020). If sales tax is renewed for both cycles then property tax increases will not be necessary.

6) What is ESPLOST?

               ESPLOST stands for Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. This represents a one penny tax on sales in Morgan County. Each request for sales tax must be approved by the voters of Morgan County and represents a five year referendum. The continuation of our current ESPLOST will be presented for voter review on the November, 2015 ballot and again in November, 2020.

7) What are the sources of revenue being used to fund capital outlay projects?

               Capital outlay projects will be funded through a combination of local sales tax revenue; state capital outlay entitlement earnings and state grant funds.

8) How much of the cost is paid by the local taxpayer?

               Non-residents and out-of-country visitors pay over 60% of local sales taxes. Additionally, in the proposed scenario which maximizes funding sources; the State will contribute approximately 44% of the cost of new construction. In this funding scenario, the local citizen will contribute approximately 33.6% in local sales tax contributions towards the cost of capital outlay.

9) Why fund capital outlay projects with Bonds?

               ESPLOST Bonds provide the ability to advance fund projects and replace construction inflation costs with a lower bond interest cost. The current market rate for cost of debt is 2.27%. Estimated construction inflation rates are between 3% and 5%.

10) What projects have my sales tax dollars been used for?

               The current ESPLOST has facilitated the construction of the Freshman Academy, New Gym at the Primary School, an additional computer lab at the Primary School, playground equipment at both the Primary and Elementary schools, Upgrades to the school’s security systems, Upgrades to HVAC units, New Buses, Band Instruments, Athletic Facility upgrades, Upgrades for handicap accessibility, Ongoing system-wide renovations to classrooms, Staff virtual desktop computers, Staff mobile devices, Servers, Upgrades to phone systems, Networking and Wireless Upgrades, Replacement of classroom video projectors. Additionally, funds will be used to replace Smart Boards in the classroom, Renovate the Primary School Hill Building, Renovate bathrooms at the Middle School, Add awnings and sidewalks at the Elementary School, and Construction of a new College and Career Academy.

11) What projects will my future sales tax dollars be used for?

               Sales tax revenue will be used to fund capital outlay projects such as a new High School, new Middle School, Transportation facility, parking improvements, renovations to existing facilities, technology upgrades, new buses, HVAC upgrades at the Elementary school and Primary School.

12) Is there a plan in place for addressing traffic congestion?

               Traffic flow studies have been performed by Georgia Civil Engineering and a plan is being developed to alleviate congestion and reroute traffic in a more efficient manner in preparation for the 2015-2016 school year. Long-term traffic planning is being developed in coordination with future facility placement.

13) What will happen to the Middle School facility if a new one is built?

               The school system is planning a collaborative outreach effort to community groups and student based organizations that may be interested in maintaining the Middle School facility and continuing to offer collaborative community based services at the facility. The facility will not be abandoned but will instead be repurposed and we will continue to update the status as we receive feedback from organizations on possible uses for the facility.

14) What is the timeline for facility planning?

               The major construction projects will take place over the next 4.5 years. A new College and Career Academy will open in July 2017, A New High School will open in July 2018 along with a new Transportation facility, and A New Middle School will open in December 2019. These are projected construction timelines for our immediate projects. The Master facility plan will address the more immediate facility needs on a 5 year plan as well as longer term planning needs that may take place over the next 10 years.

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