Bond & Mill Levy Questions Answered
Q: What led the Board of Education to decide it was time to rebuild Englewood Elementary Schools?In 2011, Englewood voters approved a bond to renovate or rebuild Englewood’s middle and high schools. Knowing that the elementary schools were also aging and in need of repairs, the Board of Education promised the community that it would also revisit the elementary schools within 5 years.In order to make sure that it was following the will of the community, the district convened a group of citizens, parents, teachers, and district staff called the Facilities Long-Range Planning Committee to study the state of our facilities and explore all possible options to ensure they were meeting the needs of our students and community. At the same time, a series of town hall meetings were conducted at each school in order to engage in dialog with school communities about the challenges and celebrations each of our schools were facing.
After touring schools, hearing from experts, studying demographics, and conducting a community survey, the Facilities Long-Range Planning Committee recommended that the Board of Education explore the cost and feasibility of renovating or rebuilding all four elementary school buildings and preschool facility, and pursue a bond election in order to fund the projects.
After consulting with expert architects around costs and feasibility, it was found to be more cost-effective and more long-lasting to rebuild the buildings entirely rather than attempt to simply repair or renovate existing structures.
Q: Why do we need new schools instead of just making repairs or renovations?
Q: What is a Bond Election?A Bond Election is to approve the District’s issuance of general obligation bonds to fund capital needs.Capital needs are generally defined as assets that have a useful life over one year. Type of expenditures include: building new schools; equipping and furnishing new schools; repair, renovate, improve, enlarge existing facilities including updating heating and ventilation systems, roofs, wiring and plumbing; other major costs including larger technology purchases, safety and security systems and innovation projects.This requires approval by District voters and is funded through personal and business property taxes.In this case, the District is asking for $97.5 million dollars to rebuild Bishop Elementary, Charles Hay World School, Cherrelyn Elementary, Clayton Elementary and the Early Childhood Education Center at Maddox.Q: What is a Mill Levy?
Our elementary school buildings were built over 60 years ago, when standards for learning and safety were different. Though we work hard to create clean and safe learning environments for our students, there are some challenges with the buildings that we cannot overcome. Old HVAC systems, out-of-date ADA accessibility, fire safety systems that are not up to current code, and other issues would be costly to update piecemeal. Building new schools is more cost-effective than remodeling and updating the older buildings as it will save on maintenance costs and ensure the buildings are safe and clean learning environments for students for the next 50 plus years.
A mill levy is based on assessed property tax and is used by local governments or school districts in order to cover annual expenses. In this case, the mill levy would be for $1.5 million and would augment safety and security, attract and retain highly qualified teachers, support staff and leaders, maintain current instructional technology resources, and maintain district facilities and grounds.