Consultant to review financing options in West Jefferson Hills
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 10:15 a.m.
A consultant will help West Jefferson Hills School District officials determine if public approval is needed to finance a high school construction project.
School board members, in a unanimous vote Tuesday, approved a consulting agreement with Patrick Sable, retired assistant executive director of finance at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, to review funding options for the district's building plans.
Sable will be paid $60 an hour, with a daily rate not to exceed $400. His total pay cannot exceed $4,000.
“We've been running some preliminary numbers as to what the district can afford and what kind of tax increases we can afford and are allowed under (state law) and what the chances are to have a successful referendum,” board Vice President Shauna D'Alessandro said. “The basic question that we're asking him to help us answer is: is referendum our only option?”
District architects earlier this month presented options to the board for the renovation or building of a new high school. The costs of the project ranged from $60 million to $72 million.
To finance the project, the board could seek voters' permission, through referendum, to raise taxes above a Pennsylvania Department of Education-issued index, officials said. That, though, would not occur until at least spring 2014.
Mike Paston, who served as a school director in Upper Dublin — the only district in the state to successfully pass a referendum — spoke to West Jefferson Hills School Board members last week about the process.
“It's something that we should be actually starting to work at now. It involves public awareness of the needs of the school,” said D'Alessandro, noting that about 78 percent of people in the district do not have children in the schools and likely are not aware of the facilities needs.
The district has not raised taxes since the 2008-09 school year.
Board members said they want to review all options and determine if a referendum is the only way to finance the project.
“This is just another step in that process to make sure that we are looking at every avenue we have in order to carry out the building projects that await us,” board President Anthony Angotti said.
Board members are ranking the three options for high school improvements and could vote to select a project next month.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dodgeball tourney benefits Thomas Jefferson prom
- Baldwin police seeking two men suspected in robbery
- Revised housing development plan submitted to Baldwin Borough officials
- Brentwood’s school resource officer a multitask facilitator
- Library in Jefferson Regional Medical Center packs a lot into five-shelf bookcase
- Baldwin-Whitehall leaders support student-recognition project
- Baldwin Borough Community Day isn’t what it used to be
- Whitehall library discussion offers education to parents of autistic children
- New West Jefferson Hills facilities director in place