This fall, BVSD voters will cast ballots on a $350 million bond-funded school building investment proposal.
The 2022 Critical Needs Plan outlines a strategy for investing in all BVSD schools to address major maintenance needs in aging buildings to extend their useful life; replace New Vista High School; plan for enrollment growth; create more Career and Technical Education opportunitites; and make it easier for students of all physical abilities to enjoy our playgrounds.
Arguments in support of and opposed to this ballot question can be found in the blue book mailed with ballots.
Where students learn matters. In order for students to learn, they need environments that are safe, functional, and comfortable. Additionally, it takes consistent maintenance to ensure taxpayer-funded facilities are ready for students and staff and everything they accomplish on a daily basis.
In 2021, BVSD conducted a districtwide assessment to update our facility database which will help us understand and plan for on-going maintenance and replacement cycles of materials, equipment, and systems. The database identifies more than $670M in facility needs that will come due in the next 10 years as our buildings age and major systems reach their end of life. The 2022 Critical Capital Needs List represents $350M of the District’s highest priorities needing to be addressed in the next four years in order to optimize taxpayer investments to extend the useful life of buildings worth investing in and replacing a school that has reached the end of its service life.
In addition to maintaining our aging buildings, the Critical Needs List also calls for investments in updating secondary schools to better provide opportunities for more students to gain valuable, hands-on experience, and earn college credit with career and technical education (CTE) programs. Our challenge is to prepare students for future success in careers that may not even exist today. It is imperative to create these opportunities for our graduates now to give them every advantage for success in the rapidly changing world of work.
We also know that in the coming years additional capacity will be needed in the northeastern area of our district which is still growing. Construction of an elementary school in Erie will accommodate new students and relieve overcrowding in other district schools.
Read the 2022 Facililities Critical Needs Plan
Cost to Taxpayers
Just under $10/month for every $600,000 of actual value on residential property.
Just under $70/month for each $1M of non-residential property value.
Meadowlark School Principal Brent Caldwell talks about the significant development happening in Erie and the impact it is having on enrollment at his school.
All students will benefit from safe, functional, comfortable schools; Taxpayer investments are optimized by extending the useful life of facilities.
BVSD owns and operates 61 buildings constructed in nearly every decade of the last 140 years. Over time, building materials and equipment age, wear out, and become outdated. BVSD must invest in maintaining and updating facilities on an ongoing basis to ensure they are safe and functional and can continue to serve students for decades to come.
In some cases, when a building has aged to the point where the cost to repair and renovate is significant enough, it makes more sense to replace the school rather than continue to invest in a worn out, out-dated building. As such, the Facilities Critical Needs Plan calls for the 70-year old New Vista High School building to be replaced with a new building on the same site.
Continued growth, driven by several new housing developments, has already caused overcrowding in some of our schools in the northeastern part of the district, especially Meadowlark School. BVSD’s only school in Erie is already over its enrollment capacity at the elementary-level. With additional subdivisions planned for the area, a new school campus, serving grades PK-5 will be needed in coming years.
BVSD has recognized the need to expand Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities, and is ready to transform the student experience in college and career preparedness. In this plan, we are proposing renovations at PK-8, middle, and high schools that will expand or create flexible, agile spaces where students can experience industry-inspired environments with the latest equipment, helping them acquire valuable technical skills along with the real-world, hands-on experiences that lead to high-wage and high-growth jobs that are in high-demand.
Improving ADA Access on Playgrounds
So that students of all physical abilities can benefit from play and exercise, playground mulch on a number of elementary playgrounds would be replaced with rubberized solid surfaces that are wheelchair friendly.