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'New' SHS: More costly than you may realize

December 2, 2012 12:10 am

'New' SHS: More costly than you may realize

Every piece of land on Earth has a monetary value assigned to it. Adding assets to the land, such as a school and infrastructure, further increases its worth.

There is a cost associated with any decision resulting in improvements and usefulness of this land. The Stafford High School built in 1975 is now estimated to be worth $35 million.

That is a pretty good return on investment for this taxpayer-funded asset. Now, a small group of residents wants to build a "new" SHS with less square footage for an estimated cost of $65 million. So the "real" total estimated debt of this Capital Improvement Program project is actually $100 million.

Are the land and the "new" 65-foot-high, three-story SHS actually worth $100 million when "new" construction is completed? Well, the answer is an emphatic "No!"--even if it were 2015.

When will this land with its "new" resources actually be worth $100 million? Zager and Evans said it best in song:

In the year 2525,

If man is still alive,

If woman can survive,

They may find .

Many blunders have been made just in the planning and the oversight of requirements like the automotive program and on-site practice fields for 14 sports. These mistakes have led to costly overruns but, more importantly, affect the lives of each student and his or her future.

This taxpayer-funded CIP project does not take into account road improvements to address traffic congestion during construction and beyond. To demolish this current asset and replace it with a "new" parking lot will result in a lost opportunity to reuse a $35 million infrastructure prudently.

Paul J. Waldowski


Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.