Questions cost of Ferndale bond

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 31, 2014 

So Ferndale School District has now explained how they got to $125 million, sort of. I'm still interested in the basic math. They give us two unsupported numbers: $285 per square foot and 165 square feet per student. Where did these numbers come from? Here in Ferndale you can buy a very nice house, say 2,000 square feet for under $300,000. This figure includes the land. Lots run anywhere from $60,000 on up. Builders must be making a profit or they would stop building. Given that the district already owns the land, why is it that you can build a brand new, tech-rich, energy saving house for $120 a square foot and it costs more than twice that to build a school? Why?

Who says we need 165 square feet per student? And why is the "community sports center" (football stadium) not included in this total?

Why do we need a really big new school when the student population, by the district's own projections, is declining?

I understand how they figured the total amount: $75 million for the new Ferndale High School, $20 million for the new Windward High School, $25 million for the new stadium and $5 million for the transportation center. In the interest of transparency, it would be nice if the district would also publish the basis for the two numbers that they used to make these estimates.

One further note, the district's 30-year plan involves going back to the taxpayers every other year for even more money. This bond is only the beginning.

Debbie Fields

Ferndale

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