7th & 8th Grade Feasibility Study

        April 24, 2017           7th and 8th Grade Feasibility Study                
As you probably recall, last Fall I asked the diocese to help us undertake a feasibility study about the possibility of adding a seventh and eighth grade to our school. The more we looked into this idea and what it would require to do this correctly, the more improbable it became from a financial standpoint. The cost to build new facilities and operate them on an annual basis would be overwhelming.
   It would likely take a couple million dollars to add sufficient classroom space as well as a new gymnasium. Our current gym is not official size for a Middle School gymnasium. At least three additional classrooms and new restrooms would need to be added on. We would need new locker rooms. Parts of the media center, the library and the technology department would need to be expanded.
   At least two teachers with dual middle school licenses would be needed to teach the seventh and eighth grade students the core subjects. Finding those teachers would probably be very hard to find even in a big city, and even more difficult here in Warsaw. If teachers with dual middle school licenses could not be found, then we would have to hire additional teachers for the core subjects. Along with building more classrooms, it costs some $35,000 or so per teacher in our diocesan scale of teacher salaries. Additional hours would be needed for the specials teachers: art, gym, music -- to teach their classes. Additional administrative staffing would also be needed to cover everyday paperwork, the Choice Scholarship program and state reports.
   Warsaw Middle Schools offer many electives from which a student can choose. Some of these electives are: band, choir, orchestra, computer science, to name a few. Utilities, water, electricity and so on would also increase costs.
  In order to offer the best educational opportunity available, the cost of building new facilities and operating costs on an annual basis would be too much for us to undertake. Keep in mind that we operated at a deficit in the last two fiscal years. These deficits were not large; but they were deficits, nonetheless. Only about a third of our parish households give regular financial support to our parish!  If more of our households were  financially generous to the church and school, then perhaps someday adding a seventh and eighth grade to our school might become more feasible.
In Christ,
Fr. Phil