The formal language of the referendum: "Shall debt of Unionville Chadds Ford School District, Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania, be authorized to be incurred as debt approved by the electors in the sum of up to Thirty Million Dollars ($30,000,000) for the purpose of renovations and additions to Unionville High School and its campus?"Actual cost: $62.7 million Actual debt: $30 million. The remaining debt would have to be found within the tax increase limits set by Act 1, leaving the district to decide how to fund the debt out of its normal budget. The district maintains that it would not cut current programs from its curriculum; instead future programs and their funding would be subject to the same scrutiny used in the current budget process. Funds could also be supplemented by fund-raising efforts.
Future millage increases: Financial advisors have estimated that to allow for phasing within the Act 1 limits, the remaining debt would require approximately. 80 mills over a three-to four-year phase-in. This additional millage would be included within the Act 1 limits.
Current outstanding debt: The district will have general obligation bonds in the amount of $56.9 million at the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year.
Current annual debt service:
Just over $7 million. That figure reduces to just under $4.8 million in 2013-14.
The need, as determined in studies by KCBA and MM Architects:
o Educational program limited by size of building
o Science, technology and music areas need upgrades
o Classrooms are too small
o Cafeteria dining and serving areas are too small
o Athletic area is inadequate for the programs
o Structural concerns n Current code requirements, including the Americans with Disabilities act
How the project addresses those needs:
o 36 new classrooms and the removal of the 12 modular classrooms, for a total of 24 new classrooms
o A new gymnasium o Upgrades to existing classrooms
o A renovated cafeteria o New district office o A 1,200-seat auditorium, replacing the current 870-seat space
(Information courtesy of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District. For additional information, visit www.ucfsd.org.)