HHS Construction Project Is A Go

SACS is Moving Forward with HHS Construction Project
Posted on 04/26/2019

SACS is Moving Forward with The Homestead High School Construction Project

Southwest Allen County Schools (SACS) officials and administrators announced the district’s plan to move forward with the $169 million  Homestead High School Construction Project: a project that will result in an essentially new high school building without changing the tax rate or raising local taxes. Dr. Philip Downs, Superintendent, SACS, made the announcement at a press conference on Friday, April 26.

The announcement follows years of planning. In 2017, SACS hosted several community dialogues with hopes of getting the publics’ input as to what the community would like to see for the next 20-30 years in Southwest Allen County School’s infrastructure, maintenance and capital projects/improvement plans. Results illustrated the community’s wish for a new/renovated high school but reflected their desire for the work to be completed without raising local taxes.

In February 2019, SACS introduced the Homestead High School Construction Project’s $169 million fiscal plan that reflects the construction of a new high school within the proposed tax rate, does not raise local taxes, and still preserves the district’s flexibility going forward.

Dr. Downs attributes several reasons the district has the ability to support a project of this magnitude without raising taxes, “We have a community that supports education and our district’s efforts, retiring debt rolling off, good financial management, and a great maintenance program.”

Friday’s announcement follows the state mandated 1028 public hearings held in March and a 30-day waiting period in which community members could have required the project to be a ballot measure.

“On behalf of the School Board members, SACS Administrators and staff, we are extremely thankful for our community’s involvement, input and trust throughout this exploratory process. Moving forward, each one of us is committed to bringing a high quality educational facility in a fiscally responsible way.”

SACS’ next steps are to begin the hiring process of a Construction Manager as Constructor for the initial design phase of the project. Later this summer, SACS will hire the Design Build Contractor for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Contractor (MEP) for the remainder of the design and construction document phases. Groundbreaking is anticipated in late summer of 2020/early 2021.

“We are committed to doing this right and we are not in a hurry,” said Downs. “For 50- years, Homestead High School has served the girls and boys of Southwest Allen County Schools and has been a hub for our community.  The Homestead High School Construction Project will construct a new school in a way that not only ensures the efficient use of the taxpayers’ dollars, it will utilize design standards and construction practices that encourage quality and durability to position Homestead High School for continued success over the next 50-years. This is a tremendous and humbling opportunity to meet our mission of preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s opportunities.” 

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