Madison to Receive Increased State Reimbursement for New School Construction
MADISON, CT: Madison Public Schools (MPS) and the Town of Madison are pleased to announce the state reimbursement rate for construction costs related to the New Elementary School building project has increased substantially. Thanks to the efforts of Madison’s state legislators and project consultants, the project reimbursement rate has increased 10 percent - 18.21 percent to 28.21 percent - an increase equal to roughly $6 million in additional construction costs that will be returned to taxpayers.
The Office of School Construction Grants and Review notified MPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Craig Cooke of the increased reimbursement rate in May.
“Madison Public Schools is incredibly grateful for the support of John-Michael Parker and Christine Cohen on our efforts to achieve a higher reimbursement rate,” said Cooke. “Our staff worked hard in partnership with Colliers International on this proposal in the effort to save taxpayers of Madison significant money.”
The New School Building project had previously qualified for the new construction reimbursement rate, which is lower than the reimbursement rate granted to projects that are considered renovations. However, State Representative John-Michael Parker (D-101) alerted MPS to a lesser-known clause within the state statute that allows new construction projects to receive a higher reimbursement rate if the town can demonstrate that constructing new is less than renovation, extension, or major alteration of an existing school.
"I'm thrilled to have helped Madison Public Schools secure this substantially expanded reimbursement rate for our elementary school project,” said Parker. “We identified a policy that was designed to incentivize efficiency and sustainability in school construction—and the district and its development partners worked hard to demonstrate our compliance. As a result, we're helping save taxpayers over $6 million, which is that much more important in this moment of economic uncertainty. This is a big win for Madison, and alongside recent funding for the Academy Community Center and the American Legion, it showcases the growing investment in our community by the State of Connecticut."
Madison Board of Education Chair Seth Klaskin said this reimbursement rate adjustment is great news for the project and the Town.
“My fellow board members and I were thrilled to learn about this additional reimbursement, which is a boost to the taxpayer,” he said. “It represents millions of unexpected additional dollars that will go straight to the town to help dampen the tax impact of the bonding for the Schools Renewal Project.”
The new school is currently in the design development phase. The PreK-5 building will be located on Mungertown Road and the project is expected to break ground in the spring of 2024. First Selectwoman Peggy Lyons said the new reimbursement rate is positive news at this critical point in the project.
"We are excited the Town will be receiving these additional grant funds from the state to pay for the construction of the new school, saving Madison taxpayers millions of dollars in bonding costs,” she said. “Many thanks to Dr. Cooke and the Board of Education for pursuing this additional funding opportunity, and to State Representative John-Michael Parker for successfully shepherding this through the process in Hartford while advocating so passionately for our schools.”
The New School construction is part of the Madison Schools Renewal Plan, a comprehensive plan to address the District’s aging school facilities. The plan was approved at referendum in 2022 and has three key components: construct a new PreK-5 elementary school, transform Brown Intermediate School into a K-5 school, and complete significant renovations at Polson Middle School including new Air Quality Systems/HVAC. All new and renovated buildings will open their doors for the Fall 2025.