Is there anyone in the District taxpayers can trust – Response-Sep. 18, 2018

Jeffco Schools Board of Education <board@jeffco.k12.co.us>

Sep 18, 2018, 9:55 AM

Members of the Board of Education received copies of your September 4 and13 email correspondence information shared with the community on our facilities deferred maintenance (Sept 4) and the First Amendment (Sept 13). I will provide a response to both issues, starting with the September 4 comments.

Exception can be taken that the use of the term ‘deferred maintenance’ to describe the needs of Jeffco Public Schools is erroneous.  Whether these needs are called deferred maintenance, deficiencies in educational adequacy, life cycle renewal, growth or replacement, the issue remains the same.  The district’s real estate portfolio has a value in excess of $2.8 billion and the annual capital investment is $20 million or 0.7% of the replacement value.  The industry norm for capital investment, is 2% to 4% of the portfolio value.

The $1.3 billion was arrived at in the following manner.  The capital program is planned over two phases of five to six years per phase.  As of February 2018, the value of deficiencies as defined in the annual Summary of Findings is $588 million.  The proposed 2018 bond, valued at $567 million, will address about $250 million in deferred maintenance priorities 1-3; an additional $125 million towards educational adequacy, the balance in replacement facilities, growth accommodation through additions and new buildings, safety and security, and technology.

The investment in current deficiencies will be $375 million or 64% of the need.  Life cycle renewal is valued at $371.3 million in non-inflation adjusted dollars.  This amount continues to grow each year as systems and components reach the end of their life cycle requiring major investment or replacement.  In 2023, when the 2018 bond should be near completion, these items will have moved into the deferred maintenance categories.  The balance of deferred maintenance items not addressed by the proposed 2018 bond, in non-inflation adjusted dollars, will be $213 million in addition to the $371.3 million of life cycle work that have become deferred maintenance leaving $584.3 million in unaddressed deferred maintenance.

Summarizing, the 2018 proposal is valued at $567 million, a 2024 bond proposal valued in 2018 dollars would be $584 million or nearly $1.2 billion in 2018 dollars.  Applying even a modest inflation of 3% over six years, the cost exceeds the $1.3 billion value.

As a footnote, when construction ends on this bond in 2025 there will be fourteen elementary schools 70 years or older, nineteen elementary schools 60 years and older.  It is not unrealistic that one-third of these schools will require replacement, that value in 2018 dollars is $250 million and not part of the total above.

Thank you for providing me the opportunity to clarify the communications on the 2018 bond with you. We have information available to the public online through our homepage, jeffcopublicschools.org/futurefunding.