Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Sep 1, 2006
2005 Indiana school construction spending down

INDIANAPOLIS (September 1, 2006) - School construction spending in Indiana still exceeds the national average but decreased in 2005 following new guidance issued last year by Governor Mitch Daniels. The governor today released a report prepared by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) that compares the cost and size of Indiana school building projects in 2004 and 2005 to national averages and explains the impact of school construction debt to taxpayers.

"I want to thank school superintendents for being more careful. We're still above the national average, but we've made a lot of progress in a year," said Daniels. "I want kids to be in a safe, well-built facility, but we can have them without spending far more than other states."

The cost of school construction in Indiana is nearly 11 cents of every tax dollar spent. Schools received about 54 cents of every property tax dollar collected in 2005. More than $777 million in property tax revenue was used for payments on school construction debt last year.

The report also shows:
The cost of new school construction was 40.4 percent higher than the national average in 2005. In 2004, the cost was 48 percent higher than the national average.

Indiana's average size of square feet per new building was 39.3 percent higher than the national average in 2005. It was 43 percent higher in 2004.

DLGF approved $1.3 billion in school construction in 2005 (nearly $500 million was approved before new guidance); in 2004, $618 million was approved.

Indiana taxpayers saved an estimated $90 million, $18.25 million in principal and $71.1 million in interest in 2005 because of DLGF requested modifications to construction projects.

Shortly after taking office in 2005, Daniels ordered a 120-day moratorium on school building projects to enable Local Government Finance to develop and issue new written guidance about how the department would review new school construction projects. Among other suggestions, the new guidance, issued in May 2005, established cost per square foot thresholds. Cost per project decreased in most school construction categories last year.

The complete 2005 Indiana School Construction Annual Report may be found at: The governor discussed the report this morning during a media availability. Audio from the news conference may be found at: