The cost to keep our house in order

The cost to keep our house in order
Posted on 09/27/2018
Indian Hill Treasurer Mick Davis

Ask any homeowner, and they will tell you – replacing a roof or repairing a heating and cooling system is not cheap. Now, consider maintaining the roof over 491,939 square feet of space that you also need to heat and cool. At the Indian Hill School District, that is what we manage … and we are working with aging facilities and systems across the District, and especially at Indian Hill Middle School.

Each year, the District spends approximately $150,000 per year to fix leaks to the near three football fields of flat roofing at Indian Hill Middle School alone. Despite our best efforts, because of the flat-roof design – when it rains, it really does sometimes pour into our learning spaces, storage areas, and District offices.

 

For years, our District has funded much-needed improvements to our buildings and programs by utilizing our existing operating funds instead of asking voters for additional dollars. In fact, our schools continue to operate from levies passed in the 1980s and earlier with a near-zero inflationary increase which has placed the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District as the lowest tax rate in Hamilton County. These updates were needed to help maximize and protect our investment in the school buildings. The District can’t sustain this financial model.

 

Help has arrived to assist the District in developing a plan for the future. A team made up of community members is working with the District as a Facilities Assessment Task Force to investigate what needs to be done to achieve Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness – one of our focus areas in our District Strategic Plan for Transformational Excellence. The task force will meet during October and November in small groups to assess each building, and bring a recommendation before our Board of Education in the near future. We want all members of the Indian Hill School District to have a chance to work with this team, and be a part of the solution. If you would like to participate, email IHSDcommunication@indianhillschools.org to sign up.

 

Additionally, our District worked with professional architects to uncover some of the facility issues we need to address. The architects found improvements that need to be made totaling between $39.8 and $89.6 million dollars. As the head of this “financial house” – I can share with you, our District doesn’t have the funds to cover this total. We will be sharing those details with you in a series of videos on our District website.

 

As always, thank you for continuing to support the excellence of our Indian Hill School District. Should you have any questions about our District’s finances, please contact me directly. My calendar is always open to discuss our shared financial investment.

 

Sincerely,

Mick Davis
Treasurer