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Department of Local Government Finance

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DLGF > Overview > School Construction School Construction

Providing quality educational environments for Indiana's students is important. The Department is committed to working with schools and other government agencies to review school construction funding to ensure fiscal responsibility on behalf of Indiana taxpayers. The Department has a responsibility to ensure Hoosier tax dollars are spent wisely, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Working with the School Property Tax Control Board, the Department reviews school construction proposals and makes a decision to approve, disapprove or modify the project. The review of the project goes beyond the bricks and proposed classrooms. In the review the Department is looking at the amount of non-traditional classroom space in the project, the degree of community support, the district's graduation rate, ISTEP+ scores, and the steps the district has taken to reduce costs.

2005 School Construction Facts

  • Application of new cost thresholds in May 2005 coupled with increased scrutiny of projects as ordered under the Governor Mitch Daniels' guidance saved Indiana taxpayers an estimated $90 million - $18.25 million in principal and $71.1 million in interest.
  • The Department approved $1.3 billion in school construction in 2005 - nearly $500 million prior to the application of new cost per square foot thresholds as ordered under the Governor Mitch Daniels' guidance.
  • The 2005 total represented a $682 million growth in school construction from the 2004 total of $618 million.
  • New school construction projects cost 0.75 percent more per square foot than the national average and 1.6 percent more than similar projects in the state in 2004.
  • The average size of new schools built in Indiana in 2005 was 39.3 percent larger than the national average, but 5.7 percent smaller than schools built in the state in 2004.
  • The average construction cost per new school construction project was 40.4 percent higher than the national average, but $0.6 million less than projects in 2004.
  • Additions to Indiana schools were 3.4 percent larger than the national average and 35 percent smaller than additions in 2004.
  • On average 54 cents of every property tax dollar collected in Indiana went to schools, and nearly 11 cents of every property tax dollar paid for school construction debt.
  • Payments on construction debt consumed more than $777 million in property tax revenue in 2005