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HASD Feasibility Study Releases Financials, MUST READ!

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After years of back and forth the HASD has been toying with the idea of implementing a consolidation of the Hopewell Area School District.

In our last article we discussed the different types plans that have been presented by the HASD and the company they hired to perform this study, DRAW. Tonight they dive deeper into the financial crisis the school district is in and the impact a consolidation would have on the overall financial picture of the school system.

It’s no small bill but the number is astounding in the 80-100 million dollar range for renovations and/or new buildings in this consolidation project.

The Meeting went into details provided by PNC and Draw regarding estimated costs of each project type, current debts for HASD, and borrowing capacity limits. The state sets limits to the debt that HASD can pursue. Based on the current schools debt and our borrowing capacity multiple projects are not even feasible from a financial perspective as Hopewell simply can’t afford them.

PNC went through the actual calculations and the slides from the presentation can be found on the HASD website. The image below is grainy; however, after listening to the presenter from PNC it was clear that HASD does not have the revenue base to borrow what would be needed for multiple options presented by the consolidation company. In fact, anything over $90-100M would max out the borrowing capability of the HASD and not leave a significant enough window to compensate for overages, changes needed during construction or random additions as they arise.

Every year HASD continues to pay down its current debts to the tune of around $1M dollars. As this process takes shape we also have to ask ourselves how much debt is too much debt for the HASD? So many other questions still remain,

1. At these prices for renovations should we be upgrading old buildings or just looking to build new ones?

2. What does the transition plan look like during construction, will our students be learning out of trailers?

3. What happens to the old buildings, as we see an old school still standing and not in use on Brodhead Road?

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4. Are we setting our town up for success with taking on so much debt now?

5. What happens to our teachers and neighbors school positions when a reduction happens?

There are a lot of unknows and all we suggest here at HSN is to get out there to these meetings, learn about the proposed changes, voice your concerns and provide valuable insight. There are multiple meetings coming up, and lots of unanswered questions, be a part of the solution!

 

 

 

Hello Hopewell! While I am not originally a Hopewell native, it has been my home for over 12 years. My wife and I have three beautiful children that all play Hopewell sports including baseball and softball. My wife and I are both active in coaching our Children's teams. I am a member of the Hopewell Youth Baseball Board of Directors and you will probably see me out at the fields at least a few days a week. Most recently coaching my youngest sons TBALL team.

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