Congratulations, Amherst – we will have the most expensive elementary school in the state.

Congratulations, Amherst –

If we pass the $65 million debt override this fall, we will have the most expensive elementary school in the state! By a lot.

Most elementary schools only spend $20 or $30 million. To spend $65 million, you usually get a top-shelf middle school! or a high school. One elementary school is only $5 million shy of us (Hi Woodland Elementary in Milford at $60 million) — but they are going to house 985 students and be the largest elementary school in the state.  Amherst is $65 million, topping the list; the median is about $20 million less, $45 million.

In case you’re wondering, Amherst will also have the most expensive per-student elementary school : $86,666.67 .  One elementary school in Worcester tops us on per-student expenses, but they had two projects, and got 80% MSBA funding.  For the rest of the top ten most expensive elementary projects, the cost per student ranges from $58,000 to $87,000.  Amherst is $87,000, topping the list; the median is $71,000.

But, hey, you say — the MSBA will reimburse more than half of it! Not so fast, lollipop, as my 8yo says. MSBA reimbursement rates for projects range from 34% to 100%. Amherst is anticipating 50 – 55% reimbursement, but it could dip below depending on how many of our expenses the MSBA chooses not to approve.

We pulled out the MSBA data onto a combined spreadsheet, viewable here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RrltG0mj3J-5H8qUxoZypeXFzLzrT-l1t4yoKE7Hm2o/edit?usp=sharing — browse it yourself. I’ve highlighted in YELLOW the elementary school projects in the same “core” category as Amherst.

The original data is here: http://info.massschoolbuildings.org/Project_List/ShowProject.aspx?LEA_Code=0111

I’ll be adding some more sub-charts soon.

— Laura Quilter

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One comment

  1. Pingback: We can, and should, do better for our kids and our town. | Save Amherst's Small Schools

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