Southwest Allen County Schools is moving forward with its $169 million Homestead High School construction project. The district plans to essentially build a new high school without raising taxes.
In 2017, SACS hosted several sessions to get community input on what it would like to see in the district’s infrastructure over the next decades. It found the public wanted a new or renovated high school without raising taxes.
SACS Superintendent Dr. Phil Downs explained that a tax hike isn’t need because of public support, retiring debt roll-off, good financial management and a strong maintenance program.
Homestead is about 50 years old and had its first major renovations in 1988. By 1999, an additional two-story wing was added to keep up with the school’s growth. Now, there are more than 2,400 students at Homestead.
“You know you just get to a certain point where you could spend a lot of money continuing to fix it up or for a little bit more look at it and get ready for the next 50 years, said Downs. “And that was the decision that the board and the community came to with us as we worked the problem the last two years.”
Early this summer SACS will move into the initial design phase of the project. Then by the end of the summer, contractors will be hired.
The district expects to break ground for the project by the summer of 2020 or early 2021 at the latest. The construction would take three to four years.