Why this plan?
TOP 5 REASONS
Passage of the bond referendum would provide greater equity for all students throughout the district. All students would experience 21st century learning spaces that provide greater collaboration, flexibility, and integration of technology.
Over time it would cost more to maintain six elementary schools than to build two new. Operational efficiencies of four elementary schools would support repurposing $1.8M annually.
Repurposing $1.8M annually would provide resources for enhanced 21st century programming and technology at the elementary, middle, and high school levels while reducing class sizes at the middle school and high school.
Both of the new elementary schools would be equipped with 21st century safety and security features including secure entrances for the continued safety and security of all students and staff.
Keeping tax rates low while supporting educational needs is a top priority. Two elementary schools and UHS fitness center can be built in six to eight years with minimal tax increase of $0.25 per thousand of taxable valuation.
Honoring Our Past. Understanding Our Present.
Planning Our Future.
Honoring Our Past
- We are fortunate to live in a community where students, families, teachers, and staff develop caring relationships, strong bonds, and special experiences in all of our schools. While the physical structure of a school building may evolve to better support educational needs, it’s our relationships that ultimately foster a sense of community and belonging.
- Past bond referendums supported by our Urbandale community ensured 21st century learning environments at Webster Elementary, Urbandale Middle School, and Urbandale High School. The 2018 Bond Referendum ensures equity throughout all schools and creates greater opportunities for all K-12 students.
Understanding Our Present
- Four elementary schools built in the 1950/60s—Jensen, Olmsted, Rolling Green, and Valerius—have served us well but have outlived their lifespan resulting in inequitable learning spaces that do not support criteria for 21st century learning environments.
- These four buildings will require significant investment to replace/repair/maintain core components (e.g. HVAC, electrical, technology, etc.).
- Inefficiencies of operating and maintaining six elementary buildings impact students at all levels by limiting resources and programming opportunities at UMS and UHS.
- Over the long term, it would cost more to maintain six elementary schools (hard costs and cost of lost opportunities) than to build two new elementary schools.
- We are continually in a reactive, instead of proactive, state for placing students due to limited sections in small buildings (one or two sections per grade level). Families are occasionally assigned to multiple elementary schools due to lack of space and staff.
- Since the 1960s, UHS has converted storage spaces to support fitness needs; no dedicated fitness facilities exist at the high school.
Planning Our Future
- Throughout the 2016–17 school year, students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members participated in numerous facility planning meetings in order to gain a better understanding of how district facilities are performing in terms of educational adequacy, life-cycle costs, and cost/benefit analysis. This data, in combination with feedback received through online surveys and meetings, provided the Citizens Leadership Committee a 360-degree view of district facilities in order to create a comprehensive facility plan recommendation.
- Two new 4-section elementary schools will provide greater balance of class sizes within same grade levels across district, greater likelihood of children in same family attending one elementary school, and improvements for and greater certainty of where Open Enrolled students will be placed each year.
- There are multiple funds that make up the total school tax levy. By adjusting rates within funds, the total tax increase would be just under $0.25 per thousand of taxable valuation (~increase from $17.75 to $17.99). For example, the average Urbandale assessed home value is $239,543 which would equal an increase of $2.74/month or $32.89/year.
- Anticipated construction start dates: spring 2019 UHS Fitness Center; summer 2019 elementary #1 (Olmsted site); summer 2023 elementary #2 (Valerius site). Simultaneously continue completion of remaining PPEL projects at UMS and UHS.
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