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A Statement from the Board of Education on Facilities Master Planning

November 19, 2016 — The Board of Education continues to evaluate and discuss options regarding funding the District’s facilities Master Plan. On November 18, the Board met to share input each member has received regarding the $55 million bond issue proposed to fund necessary repairs and upgrades to all buildings and — utilizing partial funding from the State — replace the existing Middle School building with a new facility on the same site. This input has come from a variety of sources —the community, other elected officials, the Mayor’s Financial Task Force and the Board’s Finance and Audit Committee.

Since prior discussions, the Board has had the opportunity to refine cost estimates. The Board has also reached a consensus, based on community input as well as continued study by staff and architects, that a proposed Middle School building would be placed on the northwest corner of the current campus, in the area currently occupied by parking and the auditorium.

Any decision to seek taxpayer approval involves multiple considerations. These include the educational impacts of the improvements, the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed projects, the economic impact of the proposed bond levy, and how the plan affects the community as a whole. The Board continues to wrestle with these concerns as well as how to meet the needs of our students in a manner that is not only fiscally responsible but also benefits our community. To ensure this, fiscal implications continue to be thoroughly evaluated. The Board has asked the Finance and Audit Committee to carefully review the long- and short-term costs of (A) proceeding with the existing proposal versus (B) delaying the construction of a new Middle School while still moving forward with a bond levy that allows us to address critical maintenance issues and technological upgrades in all of our buildings.

With an analysis from the Finance and Audit Committee, the Board will meet again on Tuesday, December 13, to discuss the choices before it. The community meeting currently scheduled for Monday, December 5, will be postponed to a later date to allow the community to respond to the Board’s direction from the December 13 meeting.

The Board continues to encourage all residents to provide their thoughts on the current proposal and the alternatives by contacting Board members individually or emailing the Board at board@shaker.org.

More information is available at shaker.org through the Master Planning link on the home page or by clicking here.
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