Something to keep in mind regarding the NEXT Franklin school referendum – Part 3

The following is another in a series of blogs relating to the school referendum that will be on the Franklin ballot this November.

The option to be considered by voters would build a new two -story middle school with a $43.3 million referendum representing an estimated annual tax impact of $73 for each $100,000 of a home’s value for each of the next 20 years. A new two-story middle school would be built on District-owned land adjacent to the current middle school. The referendum would be large enough to pay for the new building and provide space for future expansion. Green space and competition/ recreational fields would be provided. Supporters claim the referendum would significantly improve parking and traffic flow.

I’ll grant you the analogy and situation I’m about to pose may not be the best, arguably apples and oranges. But as the blog title suggests, it’s food for thought as you decide whether you want to jack up your own property taxes at about the same time the Franklin School Board more than likely  will approve a budget containing with a school property tax levy increase.

Franklin has a population of what, about 35,000? Therefore it’s no…

San Diego, CA.

The city has learned the hard way that spending lots of money on schools for the sake of improvement is no guarantee. reports:

Twice in the past eight years, San Diego school officials have convinced voters to support big bond measures to pay for construction. They have raised a total of $5 billion that way, and have already spent $1 billion. Despite all this, the school district’s buildings are now in worse shape overall than when they started.

So why are buildings apparently in worse shape, despite pretty significant spending?

It’s because maintenance isn’t sexy.

Yeh, but that’s San Diego, Kev, not Franklin.

Fine. I leave you with a comment made on a recent blog of mine by someone who knows about building construction, Franklin Planning Commissioner Scott Thinnes:

Again, a bad decision made years ago by whoever thought the hub-spoke-pod school design was a good idea in the first place. These buildings are more expensive to build, maintain, and operate because they have 3-4 times the perimeter exterior wall area and foundation footprint, they take up more land space, and are very difficult to expand economically, usually requiring many small expansion areas located between the various pods. Again, expensive for what you get, and the added layout and function makes less and less sense relative to the initial design.

One thing Franklin is good at… making decisions and not realizing how bad those decisions are until they are 3/4 of the way down the road. Do you think if a new middle school is built that site placement and building design will be done with thoughts of future expansion needs? I’m not going to hold my breath.

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