Building Plan Would Add $13 Million to Economy, Create 1,500 Jobs - May 03, 2012

Record Number: 8728
Displayed from: May 03, 2012 , until: May 30, 2012

The building project that residents of Fort Wayne Community Schools will see on the May 8 ballot has the potential to add $13 million to Allen County's economy and create 1,500 jobs over the next four years, if approved, according to a study by Hanover Research. Hanover Research has an annual contract with FWCS to provide research on a variety of education topics to assist with decision making. The research was done by projecting what the economy would look like with and without the building project. If the project is approved, Hanover estimates the economic impact on Allen County will be $172 million during the four years of construction. If the project does not move forward, Hanover estimates that about $159 million would remain with taxpayers over the 20 years that the debt on the project would have been repaid had it been successful. Therefore, the difference in the two equations is a positive impact of about $13 million. These figures do not represent the whole of the spending by FWCS on the Strong Schools, Strong Community initiative; rather, we allowed the model to estimate the proportion of expenditures that would be paid directly to businesses and individuals in Allen County, the report states. Of the 1,500 jobs created, the study predicts 838 would be local workers hired for the project, such as local electricians. Additionally, 240 jobs would be created indirectly from local companies buying materials to use on the job sites. And, 422 jobs would be created as more people in the community are working. For example, a construction worker hired for the project may use income to purchase a car from a local car deal. That purchase provided a commission for the sales person, who used the money to purchase a TV at a local retailer. We obviously believe that it is important that we properly care for these community assets and provide an adequate learning environment for our students, said Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend. But we also know and this report confirms that this will have a larger impact on the local economy by providing much-needed jobs to our community. With more people working, the economy only gets stronger. FWCS residents will have an opportunity to vote on the referendum question on Primary Day, May 8, or by participating in early voting. Early voting can be done at the Election Board office at the corner of Calhoun and Superior streets from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The office will also be open this Saturday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The full report is available online at www.fortwayneschools.org/facility_planning.php.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.