The College Community School District’s Board of Education accepted petitions at their December 14, 2015 board meeting calling for a bond referendum. District patrons turned in petition signatures requesting the Board set a bond election to address enrollment growth and facility needs. The petition calls for the Board to set a February 2, 2016 bond referendum vote for $49.5 million dollars.
Additionally, the Board took action that would commit a minimum of $6,000,000 of one cent sales tax funds to keep the property tax rate in the District low. With this action, the property tax rate would increase approximately 32 cents to $16.14 per thousand dollars of valuation–this is 81 cents lower than originally projected due to the use of the sales tax funds. This would cost the owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 $17.50 per year.
The last bond referendum, held on April 7, 2015, failed by only 58 votes.
Meeting academic needs to address enrollment growth is a priority. During the September 21 school board meeting, Superintendent John Speer said the district has already surpassed its enrollment projections for the 2015-16 school year and projects enrollment will climb an additional 1,000 students in the next ten years.
Enrollment for the 2015-2016 academic school year is 5,605 students (4 year-old preschool to 12th grade) which is up 146 students since this time last year. Currently eight grades have over 400 students. Since 2005-06 enrollment has climbed 1,600 students and based on current projections, enrollment at College Community will continue to grow at approximately 105 students each year and reach 6,655 students by 2025.
“The bond will have a long lasting impact on our Prairie campus by adding classroom space, increasing security and safety, replacing obsolete systems, and renovating our oldest buildings,” said College Community Superintendent John Speer. “The Facilities Advisory Committee agreed the district needs have not changed since our last bond vote and the District needs to move forward now in order to meet the facility demands caused by enrollment growth.”
If voters approve, the bond referendum will address the following areas:
PRAIRIE HIGH SCHOOL – EXPANDED ACADEMIC SPACE
20 additional classrooms
- 13 general classrooms,
- 3 new science classrooms
- 4 new music classrooms
- Update library/media center
- Add/improve athletic/wellness/locker areas
- Create gender balanced locker rooms
- Update family and consumer science space
REDUCED OPERATIONAL COSTS
- Replace obsolete mechanical, electrical, building control systems
- New 500 student cafeteria
IMPROVED COMMUNITY ACCESS
- Add parking spaces
- Expand lobby space for public events
- Create training and public meeting rooms
IMPROVED SAFETY AND SECURITY
High School, Crest, Heights and View
- Add fire sprinkler systems
- Replace/upgrade safety systems (Fire alarms, Intercoms, intruder access)
- Provide secure, visible offices (High School & Crest)
- Add interior walls (View)