Maricopa Unified School District wants to open its second high school in 2022.
With just a little over two years to make that happen, the district is contemplating the size and curriculum of the school, how much of the cost will remain after the School Facilities Board grant and the possibility of seeking a bond. The district’s last attempt at bond failed with voters.
Meanwhile, the district is examining the current status of the ongoing, seven-year budget override. It was approved by voters in 2016 to decrease class sizes and improve technology districtwide. In fiscal year 2018, the override brought in $3.5 million to pay the salaries of 50 teachers, 688 computers and tech staff. In FY19, it brought in $3.8 million, again for 50 teacher salaries plus tech staff, teacher computers and student technology.
The estimate for FY20 is $4.3 million. Class sizes dropped from an average elementary target of 33 students per class to an actual average of 25. With the growth of the city, enrollment has also increased, and class sizes are edging up again.
How all of that will be impacted by the Nov. 3 election is part of a work study for the governing board this week.
The School Facilities Board designated $26 million to go toward the second high school. The basic building cost of the initial SFB phase is expected to be $18.6 million. An additional $28 million is expected to be needed for structure, technology, site improvement, interiors and more “supplementals.” That does not include adjacent-ways expenses at the new site.
The contractor, Chasse Building Team, has drawn up Phase 1 plans that meet the SFB requirements. That includes 125,000 square feet for 1,330 students. Additional architectural plans expand through two more phases to a fully comprehensive high school that includes athletic fields, a music facility and career and technology education building.