In April, the Oversight Task Force and Supt. McIntyre presented their final recommendations on school building improvements to the school board. The plan, considered to be Building a Better Future, Phase II, was put together using multiple years of in-depth research from various study groups that involved students, staff, parents/caregivers and community members. Their work revealed critical school building needs, including: safety/security needs, teaching and learning needs, and space needs with regard to programming and current and predicted population growth. Thank you to everyone who volunteered countless hours to analyze the needs of all of our schools.
Building a Better Future, Phase II builds upon the efforts already started in Phase I, continues strategic plan work and addresses critical school building needs. The following school building improvements have been proposed as part of the plan:
- Secure learning environments with enhanced safety.
- Spaces for math, science and career programs, specialized learning services and growing student populations.
- Access to similar learning experiences at all district schools, including program opportunities, class sizes and space functionality.
Every district school would receive needed building improvements in Building a Better Future, Phase II. More specifics, including a full list of proposed projects, can be found at district279.org/BetterFuture.
The scope and type of work required for these school building improvements means bond funding would have to be part of the finance plan. The board is expected to determine whether to take this next step at their May 23 meeting. If the board chooses this direction, community members would be asked to consider these needs on election day, Nov. 7, 2023. Informational materials would additionally be made available for community members to learn more and make an informed vote.
The Oversight Task Force believes the time is now to move forward with Building a Better Future, Phase II. The team shared that today’s plan is the most cost-effective. Also, aging school buildings and learning spaces are becoming less relevant and functional, crowded classrooms are significantly limiting learning opportunities across the district in different ways, and safety best practices have changed.
Please visit district279.org/BetterFuture for additional details, a look at both phases of our Building a Better Future work and answers to frequently asked questions.