Faulty enrollment projections lead to over-building

July 25, 2008
Connecticut audit shows facilities built too big because of inaccurate projections
The combination middle-high school inPortland, Conn., was built big — so big that the district is considering renting out space in the building. Based in part on the town's projections that the school's population would balloon to 1,070 by 2008, state taxpayers contributed $18.9 million to the $39 million building project. But those projections were off, and the school has never enrolled more than 600 students. Because of that, the state Department of Education asked for $4.6 million of the funding back last year. Portland taxpayers avoided paying that bill when state legislature passed a bill earlier this year allowing the town to keep the money. A state auditor's report last month warned that by overestimating student enrollment, districts could build schools that are larger than necessary — at a greater cost to build and operate — to state and local taxpayers than might otherwise be required. To read The Hartford Courant article, click here.

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