Friday, September 22, 2006

I have sent my analysis of Table T-9 to hundreds of people. By far the replies I have received have been very supportive and thanked me for my effort. Many have simply asked that I remove their name from my email list, which I do. However, I have received a few responses from people who have not appreciated my analysis. For the most part they have a common them "that I manipuated the numbers."

If as one says “anyone can make the numbers to mean anything”, then how are we to believe the NACS June 1, 2005 Feasibility study? As an Engineer, I strive to understand numbers. It is my profession to understand the assumptions, methodology and to verify that the numbers and methodology when combined, produce the stated result. The single purpose of any report is to present enough information so that any person may verify the results that are stated. This Feasibility Study lacks assumptions, raw numbers as well as methodology.

When I look at table T-9, it is standard procedure to take the values listed in the table and verify that they correspond with others. This is exactly what I did. Carroll High School has 309,000 sq. ft. with a design enrollment of 1,700. When you divide the 309,000 sq. ft. by 1,700 students I get 181.76 sq. ft per student. When I take the new school estimate of 356,250 sq. ft and divide it by the design enrollment of 1,425 students, I get 250 sq. ft. Does this not cause concern to anyone else but me? Why is the new school 15% larger and have 16% fewer students? If you are trying to convince someone to support your position of one high school, you might attempt to inflate the other options cost. This certainly is an easy way to do it. Did anyone else check the math on Table T-9?

But this is not the only cross reference check that can be made using this table. The renovation cost of Carroll has a note 4 attached to it. It states the renovation cost is $65 per sq. ft. for both options. Carroll has 309,000 sq. ft. and when multiplied by $65 per sq. ft. I get $20,850,000. But when I look at the cost for the renovation option, I see the table has $27,460,000 for the same multiplied numbers. How can this be? This is basic math. Was this study even reviewed and if so by whom?

The number of errors or inconsistencies on this one table are numerous. I am not playing with the numbers; I am only identifying the errors and inconsistencies. Responsible taxpayers do not make decisions based on errors or inconsistencies. They require correction of these errors so that an educated decision can be made. We are under no gun to make a decision on a renovation or a new school. The demographers forecasts the high school enrollment will reach 2,431 in the 2015-16 school year.’ That is more than enough time to do a real feasibility study.

Of all the people I have sent Table T-9 too, not one has presented a specific comment of disagreement with my numbers. If I have an error, please by all means identify it so that we may all be better informed.

Sign Blue to keep property taxes low through responsible spending and accounting of taxpayers’ money.


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