rendering of proposed athletic facility

Press Release

February 2, 2022

RE: E. Philip Saunders commits $1 million to reduce tax impact & enhance the sports experience for student-athletes and community at Livonia CSD

On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Livonia Central School District representatives met with entrepreneur and philanthropist Phil Saunders, who attended Livonia, to discuss plans for enhancing the athletic and community facilities adjacent to Saunders Field. In the early 1990s, Phil Saunders provided financial support to construct athletic facilities in the name of his father who served as Board of Education President. On Tuesday, Mr. Saunders committed to donate $1 million to Livonia Central School District for the purposes of reducing the tax impact and
enhancing the sports experience for student-athletes and the Livonia CSD community.

On December 7, 2021, the public vote on a proposition for this multi-purpose sports field resulted in a tie (218 yes votes – 218 no votes). After careful consideration, the LCS Board of Education determined the best course of action was to bring the same proposition to another vote which will occur on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

After learning about this tie, Mr. Saunders wants to provide his support for moving forward with developing what will be named the Saunders Sports Complex if approved by voters on February 15. This ensures that the initial investment in Saunders Field nearly 30 years ago will become part of a renewed athletic and community experience. The proposed project features a multi-use synthetic turf complex that includes fields for baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, and football. The project will include field lights, bleachers, scoreboard, sound system, and renovations to locker rooms and public facilities at the current field house.

Livonia Central School District receives an estimated 77.9% in state building aid for all approved capital project work. After applying this building aid, the estimated tax increase over the fifteen years of the project is approximately $1.8 million dollars. Before the donation, estimates projected that the tax rate would increase 12.67 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The estimated tax payment for a home assessed at $100,000 and with the Basic STAR exemption would increase by $12.67 annually, to $1,330.38 from $1,317.68. The project estimates would have led to an average increase in the tax rate of 0.65% between 2026 and 2040. With Mr. Saunders’ donation, these estimates will be significantly reduced.

Superintendent of Schools, Matt Cole shared “this remarkable donation from Mr. Saunders Foundation will transform the experience of students, student-athletes, and our community for generations to come. It will not only save taxpayers money but will support a project that will elevate us to the best sports complex in our area. Mr. Saunders first made a generous gift to us in the 1990s. Through the Saunders Foundation, being led by his daughter, Patty Saunders Redding, the generosity continues with his annual RIT Saunders School of Business student scholarship program. His generosity and commitment to our community is positively impacting the lives of our students and district.”

Related Links:
Livonia Central School – Capital Project 2024 – Athletic Complex Vote – February 15, 2022

LCS – Athletic Complex Vote Public Information Video

Livingston County News – Split Vote; Livonia begins design of transportation facility, revisiting
proposed athletic improvements

For More Information Contact:
Matthew Cole, Superintendent
Livonia Central School District
P.O. Box E
Office: (585) 346-4000 ext 4100
Fax: (585) 346-6145
Livonia, NY 1448