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I-Team: City of Madison releases growth impact study, $216 Million plan for schools

A projected spike in population over the next 10 years has many in Madison concerned about overcrowding and running out of room in schools.

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 12:32 AM
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 2:38 PM

A projected spike in population over the next 10 years has many in Madison concerned about overcrowding and running out of room in schools.

Madison City Council and the Board of Education met Thursday to hear the findings of the growth impact committee and the potential implications it could have on the district’s 11 schools.

GROWTH PLAN OPTIONS:
1. No New Growth: Not approving any additional annexations for residential purposes. Land already annexed to the city would not be approved for subdivision developments.  Popolution growth increases by 8,000 in the long run.
2. Controlled Growth: No new annexations for residential purposes, but allow residential development to continue in areas already included in the city limits. Population growth increases by 25,000 in the long run.
3. Unrestricted Growth: No limitactions placed on the city’s ability to grow in population. Population growth increases by 33,000 or more.
The growth plan Madison City Council leans toward, would ultimately determine how much Madison City Schools will need in order to keep up.

SCHOOL NEEDS:
• Madison City Schools are currently at 85% capacity [district wide] with 10,833 students. By 2028 its projected that roughly 4,000 new students will be added.
• School leaders believe there is an immediate need to build a new elementary and junior high school, given that most of its seven elementary and two middle schools are nearing 100% capacity.
• The district also needs additional space at the high school level, but just how much space is still up for debate. The options are to expand the two existing high schools or build a third facility.

ESTIMATED COST:
• New Elementary- $35 Million
• New Middle School- $61 Million
• New High School- $120 Million
• Expanding both High Schools- $20 Million (500 student additions)
• Option 1: New Elementary, Middle and Expand High Schools- $116 Million
• Option 2: New Elementary, Middle and third High Schools- $216 Million

POSSIBLE REVENUE SOURCES:
City officials are considering an ad valorem/property tax increase.  Just how much of an increase is still to be determined.
• A 10 Mill tax increase would cover the cost of building a new elementary and middle school [$100 increase annually on a $100,000 home].
• A 11 Mill increase would pay for a new elementary and middle school, and cover the cost of adding on to the existing high schools.
• A 20 Mill increase would pay for a new elementary and middle school plus a third high school [$200 increase annually on a $100,000 home].

Increasing the city's sales tax, which would put Madison as the highest in the region, and seeking external revenues such as TVA, BRAC Bonds and Impact Fees were also listed as possible revenue sources.

If city leaders and the BOE decide to move forward with building new schools, several public hearings will be held in early 2019 before asking tax payers to vote on the property tax increase in November.  If the levy passes, the increase will go into effect in October 2020.

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