By Tran Longmoore, www.thesalinepost.com
When Saline Area Schools sold the Houghton School property to Livonia Builders, they hoped to make close to $1 million for the property. The district also hoped Livonia Builders would construct a neighborhood full of families – and as many as 40 students for a school system facing declining local enrollment.
With the final home built and sold, school officials believe they’re close to their target on the revenue side. When it comes to new students for the district, so far, the development has come up on the short side.
According to Janice Warner, Assistant Superintendent for Finance for the district, the Cypress Ridge project will net about $900,000 for the district.
Superintendent Scot Graden noted the property was assessed in the mid-$800,000s.
Where the district hoped to win was with family-friendly housing that attracted families and students to Saline.
Schools, for the most part, are funded by the state on a per-pupil basis. Saline has been graduating classes of 450 students. On the other end, kindergartent classes tend to be around 320 to 350. So the district welcomes, and in this particular case, encouraged family-friendly housing.
According to Warner, there are at least 20 students living on Vanessa Court, location of most of the subdivision’s homes. With per-pupil funding rising to $7,895 – 20 students translate into $158,000 a year for the district.
That lessens the pressure to import more schools-of-choice students from neighboring school districts.
According to Warner, there may also be some students in the Cypress Ridge homes on Bennett Street. There may also be children in the neighborhood who’ve not yet reached school age.
Livonia Builders paid $381,000 for the property. The district and developer then entered a “profit sharing” deal that generated the rest of the revenue.
School officials are hopeful quickly rising homes on Textile Road, near State Road, bring in even more students.
The third phase of Huntington Woods, on the south end of the city, is expected to bring more families to the district. As well, Grand Sakwa has plans to build homes on 72 acres along North Maple Road.