That's the million dollar question.
During the summer of 2013 an estimate to renovate the building was established at $2.7 million. Additional research and consulting has since commenced and the actual construction cost will be higher than this initial estimate.
How much higher? The current proposal now includes the added scope of a full size gym addition, which has increased the construction costs. The Ad-Hoc Committee believes that this added expense allows the building to be more useful to residents, giving the town a better return on investment and providing a space that fully services the community.
The current construction estimate is approximately $8.3 million. This number includes a 20% contingency for design and construction costs as well as the cost of all equipment, materials and labor.
Can we afford $8 million? The simple answer is Yes.
Are my taxes going to go up?
The BOS and BOF have recommended this project be bonded.
The town currently has approximately $2.7 million in long-term debt service:
1995 Sewer Bond ($540,000)
2005 High School Bond ($14.3 million)
2012 Roads, Fire Trucks and Boston Neck Bridge ($9 million)
Our town sewer bond will be complete this year. In addition the high school bond will be complete in 6 years, 2021. So in 6 years the town could have as little as $700,000 in total debt service. The BOF recognizes the available bond capacity and has discussed multiple options on how they will mitigate the overlap years of a new bond and existing high school bond.
There will be a town meeting on September 2, 2015 at 7 pm at the Suffield High School to further review the financial impact of the bond.