Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

William G. Downey, Scott District Supervisor

July 19, 2004

Staff Lead:


Janice Bourne, Director




Consideration of a Resolution Requesting that the Expenditure Authorization Limitation and the General Election Requirement in the County’s Debt Referendum Policy Be Waived for the New High School

Topic Description:


The School Board has determined that there is an immediate need for a new high school and has initiated the process to prepare for a referendum in accordance with the County’s Debt Referendum Policy (attached).  The School Board further determined that if the project can proceed without delay, the new high school can open by August 2007.   The Board of Supervisors previously authorized funding for the design work for the new high school through 35% completion.   


On June 14, 2004, the School Board adopted the attached Resolution to request that, for the new high school, the Board of Supervisors waive two requirements in the County’s Debt Referendum Policy.  The two requirements the School Board requests be waived are (1) the authorization which limits expenditures to preliminary architectural and engineering design work; and (2) the requirement that the referendum be held coincident with the general election.  The School Board believes that the general election will detract from the importance of building a new high school because community forums and presentations to present the new high school plan compete with national election politics. By waiving the November general election requirement, the School Board will be able to plan for a special Spring election.  Voters will benefit by receiving more complete information on the design and more time to consider pertinent information needed to make an educated decision.  By waiving the limitation on preliminary design, the School Board will be able to continue the design work through completion and maintain the project schedule.  Should the project be delayed following the election, the design could still be used.


In the event that the Board of Supervisors decides not to approve the resolution to waive the expenditure limitation and the general election requirement, then the Board of Supervisors is requested to adopt the attached resolution requesting the Circuit Court to order a special election to hold the referendum.  If the Board of Supervisors approves the resolution requesting the waivers, then the request to proceed to referendum will be brought before the Board at a later date.


Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:


Hold a work session to consider the resolution to waive certain requirements in the County’s Debt Referendum Policy for the new high school.


Financial Impacts Analysis:


The Registrar’s Office has estimated the cost of a special election to be $22,100. 


A contract for the design of the new high school was executed in June 2004 with Moseley Architects.  The design work through 35% completion is $735,752.  The completed design cost is $1,491,390.


The preliminary total estimated cost of a new high school expressed in 2005 dollars is $46,269,093, based on a March 12, 2004 report from McDonough Bolyard Peck Construction Engineering.  With the design work underway, an improved cost estimate will become available.  The School Board has established a goal to set aside cash in the amount of $5,500,000, and has requested that the Board of Supervisors match this amount.  Cash funding by both the County and School Board in the amount of $4,750,168 is available for the design work and to begin this project.  Debt service for the balance of the project costs would be incurred beginning in Fiscal Year 2007.


Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:


Fauquier County Finance Department

Fauquier County Budget Office

Fauquier County Registrar’s Office




  1. Board of Supervisors Resolution Waiving Certain Requirements of the County's Debt Referendum
  2. County's Debt Referendum Policy Resolution
  3. School Board Resolution Requesting Waiver of Certain Debt Referendum Policy
  4. Board of Supervisors Resolution Requesting an Election
  5. School Board Resolution Requesting the Referendum