It’s time to alleviate overcrowding and update our aging facilities, giving our students an environment that’s ready for learning.
Our elementary student population has grown by 27% since 2010, and 3 out of 4 of our buildings are now at capacity. After a comprehensive study, a task force determined that expanding Bennett Woods Elementary School is the best plan to alleviate overcrowding. The increased number of students has also caused the need for more student lockers, storage space, musical instruments, and Fine Arts practice rooms and instrument lockers (OHS), all improvements provided through this proposed bond.
Every building needs regular maintenance and upkeep to ensure its facilities are running safely and efficiently. A school is no different. But our district has withstood numerous years of tight budgets, requiring all of its resources to be directed into preserving educational programs for our students. Now we’re faced with several maintenance projects that just can’t be put off any longer, and paying for them outside of a bond like the one proposed would drain money from the normal operating budget, negatively impacting students.
Many years of tight budgets have also required the district to push off all non-critical building (capital) purchases, such as furniture. After almost 20 years of student use, these items are badly needing replacement. This bond will give our students new classroom “flexible learning” furniture, as well as replacements for deteriorating employee furniture, cafeteria tables, and auditorium curtains at both Chippewa and OHS. (Capital Outlay)
Some of the updates made possible by this bond will save the district energy costs or other expenses. For example, the ongoing replacement of florescent lighting with high-efficiency LED lighting throughout our buildings is expected to save $80,000-$100,000 annually. At the Bus Depot, replacing underground fuel tanks (which require costly monthly inspections) with above-ground models (no inspections required) will save the district thousands of dollars annually. Adding an undercarriage washing system to the Bus Depot will reduce bus maintenance costs and prolong their useful life, further saving the district money. (Facility Upgrades)