Letter: True cost to move middle school to BG

Published: 12-02-2023 7:00 AM

I write in response to the article suggesting that it would cost $5 million more to build a new middle school at Rundlett than at Broken Ground (BG). True but misleading. Because of the distribution of population, two additional buses (at least) would be needed for BG. The board reported that would cost us $85,000 per year (not including maintenance), not covered by state building aid (40% reimbursement for items used in the board comparison). If the school lasts 30 years, that would be $2,550,000 (or 140% * $2,550,000 = ) $3,570,000 to compare apples to apples, bringing the “premium” down to $2,000,000. However, taxpayers would also have to pay for an upgrade to water service to BG (also not covered by building aid). That would be another $1,700,000, or $2,380,000 to compare apples to apples. The “premium” now favors Rundlett to the tune of $380,000.

Of course, this assumes Rundlett would be untouched and reused “as is,” if BG was chosen. Currently, the electrical service at Rundlett in many rooms is substandard because the school doesn’t want to disturb the asbestos. Were it to be reused, and asbestos abated, that would be another $1,600,000, or $2,240,000 apples to apples. In that case, the cost to move to BG is up to $2,600,000. If the building is demolished, add another $3,738,000 apples to apples. (Were someone to buy the Rundlett parcel they would likely discount the price by $4,454,546, the consultant’s figure for demolition, so that’s baked in.) Were we to move to BG, the additional expense would be between $380,000 to roughly $5,000,000, not vice versa.

Bert Cooper


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