1. A small group of people want a $120M vanity high school – not for the students and teachers – but to show-off to other adults. But it is amazing that between lower cost options by former FCCPS super and the fact that other VA counties/cities build/renovate high schools for much less per student that there is a push for a financially unsustainable mega high school by a the school board and city council

  2. I have argued to no avail and frankly am done with it. Let the foolish citizens that want their overpriced highschool have it. I vote NO. If passed we will be putting up our home for sale and the City will no longer get my money in taxes (with zero kids in tbe system).

  3. Mark and Charles, thanks for your comments. I agree. I am very concerned about the city finances if this bond is approved. There are so many people thinking this is a good idea without looking at the 1) long range consequences, 2) the percentage of debt, 3) impact of a recession, etc.

    There is going to be a glut of homes on the market if it passes – many people are considering moving so they don’t have to deal with the aftermath.

  4. Again, wait until next spring when budget season arrives. Folks will begin to sober up by then to face the albatross they have created should the referendum passes.

    Remember, you will incur a bare minimum
    4 cent increase in the tax rate next year. That’s in the bag. Wait until the schools weigh in with maintenance and operating costs for the existing high school. The city manager will not resist what the school wants so that will get added to the 4 cents. Add another few cents for mandated increases and other non-school needs, and you may be looking at a double digit increase in the tax rate for 2018. That increase will likely carry over to 2019 and beyond. Add this to the huge risk being taken with all the uncertainty including the possibility of a economic downturn. You may have a couple of folks on city council who make talk tough about the budget but in the end they are not are not tough and will not do much about it…after all, they are will be primarily responsible for creating this albatross.

  5. I’m not sure the new folks running for City Council are going to be any better than the ones we have now, but I am sure going to vote against all the incumbents I can. The current City Council members are so deep in the developers’ and real estate businesses’ pockets that they do not represent the best interests of the residents or the City.

    Teachers make good schools, not shiny new buildings.

    1. If you go to the Va Dept of Elections website: http://cfreports.sbe.virginia.gov/Report/Index/117858

      you can see some of the donations to the candidates. The Young Group, a real estate developer in Falls Church City, made $1000 donation to SB candidate Crespin and $1000 donation to YES for Falls Church committee. There is probably more but it is timely to look at all the reports.

      1. Good source. I see the Young Group also donated $1000 to support the Referendum committee.

  6. Dr. Schiller went on record and made a very strong statement in favor of a “Yes” vote on the referendum. Since the article above cites an unnamed source for the email and does not document the email, I believe that Dr. Schiller’s statement in favor of a “Yes” on the referendum stands.
    In addition, Dr. Schiller states that the $65 million option was not feasible AND would not yield 10 acres of development. He does not say it is “because” of the lack of ten-acre development. There is a major difference between his wording and your analysis. For Dr. Schiller’s complete statement, go to the resources page of http://www.yesforfallschurch.com.

    1. Dear Ms. Schoeller,

      There is a personal email from Dr. Schiller, which we are happy to share with you, if you provide your personal email address by sending it to fallschurchFACTS@gmail.com

      It has been reported publically that the Economic Development Office (EDO) wants 10 acres and no less. That was part of the analysis that the School Board used to determine which options had priority. Look at the analysis grid – you will see that priority was given to the options with the most amount of land to develop.

      Economic Development is not a bad thing but it does not provide the returns to even pay for the bond. The city’s model expects only 100 kids from the 1000 apartments. If they are wrong, we get even less returns – just like Pearson Square. We could have negative net revenue. With the proximity to the school, it is highly likely that we could have a similar situation; less revenue or negative revenue – more expenses then revenue.
      The city expects to get $3.2 Million in 13+ years from now; when all development is complete. In the meantime we will have a $7.4M payment each year for 13+ years until the expected $3.2M – expected – comes in later. That’s potentially 96.2 Million in payments BEFORE we get any income from Economic Development. That’s risky.

      The YES people have not addressed the risk sufficiently and we would welcome more discussion with you on each point.

    2. Sharon,

      Please know that there is additional risk to building a new high school that is $120 Million. 1. The city is expecting to sell the land for about $40 Million and if that doesn’t happen or if it is less, we still are on the hook for $120 Million. 2. Teacher still need to be paid and that has not been addressed in any of the equations from the city. If a bond payment has to be made, you can be certain that they will make the bond payment and then something will have to be cut from the school budget to trim costs. Teachers are the main operational cost so guess what? Bigger classes, less teachers all to support a big school. 3. The YES people have FALSE data – they say it will cost $70 million to repair the school if the bond doesn’t pass. That is just outright wrong and would be a very bad decision. A new roof is $1M and new HVAC is 6-12 million so what is the rest of the money for? That’s deceptive in my book. Be honest and delineate the necessities.

    3. Gee FCNP – nice of you to do this on voting day. Sharon, ,take note:

      By FCNP.com

      In reporting on Former Interim F.C. School Superintendent’s statement favoring a “Yes” vote on the School Bond Referendum last week, it was mistakenly asserted that Schiller did not comment on his option for a low-cost hybrid solution. In fact, he wrote, “Unfortunately, the $65 million option is not feasible and will not yield the acreage for substantive economic development.” The News-Press apologizes for the error.

  7. Vote NO – there is not enough analysis and detail to support this large endeavor. I have zero trust in the School Board or City Council to control costs. If they are misrepresenting the data to fix major systems, they cannot be trusted to build a new school.

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