Cooperative Middle School Building Project Spotlight On: Budget


New Hampshire SAU 16
Dr. David Ryan, Superintendent
30 Linden Street
Exeter, NH 03833

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Phone: 617-993-0003
Email: [email protected]

Cooperative Middle School Building Project Spotlight On: Budget 

The above table shows the tax impact on a $400,000 home in the Exeter Region Cooperative School District (Courtesy Image SAU 16)

EXETER — In an effort to provide residents with all relevant information surrounding the Cooperative Middle School building project, Superintendent David Ryan is sharing the details of each component through the district’s spotlight series.

Each week, SAU 16 will delve into topics surrounding the proposed expansion and renovation project at CMS. In this feature story, SAU 16 seeks to educate its community members about the cost of the project.

The projected budget for the project is $17.8 million. This figure includes all the hard and soft costs (construction and outfitting the new areas) as well as a contingency fund for any overages. The district will fund this through a 20-year bond, with an approximate 4 percent interest rate. The total cost of the bond will be just over $25 million.

To calculate the tax impact for each community, SAU 16 uses an average daily membership (ADM) — how many students each community is sending to CMS and Exeter High School — compared to the remaining communities in the district.

The ADM is calculated by looking at the two most recent school years (2016/17 and 2017/18), adding ADMs together and dividing them by two.

The estimated ADM/percent of each community’s bond payment share for fiscal 2020 is as follows:

  • Brentwood: 16.60 percent
  • East Kingston: 8.09 percent
  • Exeter: 39.56 percent
  • Kensington: 7.09 percent
  • Newfields: 4.99 percent
  • Stratham: 23.67 percent

If the average home in the district is valued at $400,000, residents, depending on where they live, will see an increase between $8.88 to $15.26 a month, or $106.56 to $183.12 per year.

Many residents may wonder why communities like Exeter and Stratham, which have higher ADMs, will see a lower tax impact than some of the smaller communities, like Brentwood and East Kingston. The reason for this is because Brentwood and East Kingston do not have as broad of tax bases as Exeter and Stratham, and therefore have fewer taxpayers to share the cost.

“Our goal is to put forward a project that meets the needs of students in the Cooperative School District for many years into the future while being responsible with the tax dollars that are entrusted to us,” Superintendent Ryan said. “We understand that tax rates differ from community to community, and that rising costs are difficult to manage, especially for our residents on fixed incomes. We have undertaken a long process to try to manage the needs of the schools with the financial situations of each community and will continue to work diligently to slow down the increases, if not reduce costs, in the future.”

Voters will be asked to consider the $17.8 million project to improve services for students, faculty and staff on March 12. All six towns that make up CMS — Brentwood, East Kingston, Exeter, Kensington, Newfields and Stratham must collectively pass the ballot item with at least 60 percent voting in favor for the initiative to move forward.