The facilities committee continues to evaluate possible options to give our students the best learning environment. As was mentioned before, one scientific and educated way of exploring what options are available to us, is by conducting a facilities assessment.
Mr. Chiri, Director of Operations, is going to move forward with a facilities study being completed by Estes who recently completed similar studies in Burlington and Central Lee School Districts. Estes specializes in K-12 educational planning. The Iowa Association of School Boards has collaborated with Estes Construction to create the Iowa Construction Advocate Team (ICAT). This program’s unique Integrated Project Delivery model is a resource for Iowa School Districts. Estes is also the only company in the State of Iowa that offers QLEO services, and have used this software in adjacent school districts. QLEO is a Quantitative Learning Educational Outcomes master planning service. It has the ability to provide a breakdown of facility costs and educational benefits from each feasible scenario which will be invaluable in aiding the school board, staff, parents and community to better understand potential options moving forward.
Estes will be hired only to do an analysis of our existing facilities in order to provide possible solutions to our aging buildings. Their recommendations will help the facilities committee plan for the future and the needs that will come along with it. The cost of the assessment is estimated at $22,000.
Any future solution, whether it’s new construction, renovations, or additions, will require the district to pursue financing options for funding improvements.
The facilities committee would like the community to keep in mind that there are several possible funding sources:
PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy)
GO (General Obligation) Bonds
SAVE Funds – Which requires an approved RPS (Revenue Purpose Statement)
The first step, which does not involve any funding, is for the community to pass a new district Revenue Purpose Statement because the law has recently changed. New RPS’ must receive a 50% +1 “yes” vote. The District’s bond counsel, has shared that school districts cannot issue bonds payable from SAVE funds with a final payoff beyond year 2031 without approving a new revenue purpose statement in an election.
The facilities committee is excited to bring you the results of the assessment along with more information as it is available.