EXCEL Aid Frequently Asked Questions

What is EXCEL Aid?

EXCEL aid is a new Capital Project aid for districts in the following areas:

  • Education Technology
  • Health and Safety
  • Accessibility
  • Physical Capacity Expansion or School Construction
  • Energy

The aid is intended to offset the taxpayers' portion of construction costs. The District has been given $1,032,697 for this project.

What will be the taxpayers' share of construction costs?

The construction cost of this project for the taxpayers will be zero. The Board of Education decided from the very beginning of project discussions that the only way this project would be put to the voters is if it costs the taxpayers nothing.

The district's building aid ratio from the state is 98%, this means that the state pays for 98 cents for every $1. The EXCEL aid then covers the remaining 2 cents of the $1 of construction costs.

How was this project developed?

For over a year and a half, the Board of Education, administrators and staff in conjunction with the architects and engineers have had numerous meetings to determine what would be included in the project. All areas for EXCEL aid were thoroughly examined. From there, priorities were established and the scope of the project was developed.

Will there be any utility/maintenance costs associated with this project?

Yes, because the project would include about 14,000 square feet of physical school expansion, there will be additional fuel and electrical costs. It is estimated that the increase in energy costs associated with heat and electric are approximately $35,000 per year. It has also been determined that there will be no additional custodial costs for the expansions. Because the additions are spread throughout the district, we will be able to reallocate resources to absorb the additional cleaning.

Are there any energy cost savings in this project?

Yes, the project includes a wood chip boiler for the Middle School-High School and the Keeseville Elementary School. The engineers have estimated a 1.3 -year payback period for the Middle-High School and a 2.6 -year payback period for the Keeseville Elementary School. These two annual savings combined are estimated at $107,000.

In addition the District has included generators at each school for Peak Demand Shaving. These generators would not only provide emergency backup but run during peak energy usage hours to reduce the demand charges for electric power.

The estimated payback for these generators is 2 years for the AuSable Forks Elementary School, 2 years for the Middle-High School and 1 year for the Keeseville Elementary School. The engineers have estimated a total annual savings for all three schools to be $42,700 per year.

The costs for the generators and wood chip boilers represents over 27% ($8,235,229) of the total project cost.