College Community Announces Bond Election to
Accommodate Student Growth as Part of 10 Year Facilities Plan
On Monday, December 16, 2019 patrons of the College Community School District presented 875 signatures out of a required 522 that were needed to allow for the opportunity for a public vote regarding the bond referendum.
After signatures were presented, the College Community Board of Education has called for a special election to be held on March 3, 2020 for the sale not to exceed $54 million. Funds generated from the passage of the bond referendum in conjunction with SAVE dollars, would help alleviate capacity issues at Point and Creek as enrollment continues to grow.
Voter approval would allow the district to construct a new 5/6 building on 80 acres directly south of Prairie Point. Funds generated would also allow significant renovations to Creek in preparation for our 9th graders and district programs. Taxes will not be increased for these projects. This project was part of the committee’s original 10 year facilities plan.
In the summer of 2013, the College Community School Board called for the formation of a committee to create a ten year facilities plan to address the District’s enrollment growth and capacity issues. The Facilities Advisory Committee, which consists of parents, volunteers, teachers and administrators has spent significant time studying the facility needs of the district. The committee reviewed enrollment data, county population growth and reviewed the needs of each school building. After extensive work, the committee made a recommendation to the Board outlining steps to address enrollment growth, overcrowding and buildings in need of renovation. The Board adopted the facilities committee plan proposal in November 2014.
The ten year plan was divided into two phases, both of which require a bond referendum. Phase I included renovations to the High School and our three oldest elementary schools (Crest, Heights and View). Phase II of the ten year plan includes building a new intermediate school with significant renovations to Creek.
Phase I of the 10 year facilities plan was to alleviate overcrowding at Prairie High School and address safety and security issues at our three oldest elementary schools. On February 2, 2019 voters passed a $49.5 million dollar bond referendum to add classrooms pace, improve security and increase community access. Work at the high school, which is scheduled to conclude in May 2020, has included adding 20 additional classrooms (13 general, 3 science classrooms, 4 music classrooms), new cafeteria, update library/media center, improve and create gender balanced athletic/wellness/locker areas, new high school entrance, and update family and consumer science classrooms.
Work at our elementary schools began last summer starting with Prairie View Elementary School. Work at View included adding interior walls, fire and sprinkler systems, upgrading safety systems, new intercom system and improved secure entrance. Renovations to Prairie Heights Elementary will start this year, followed by Prairie Crest Elementary School.
“The construction of a new 5/6 building and moving 9th grade back to the high school campus as they transition to high school is a significant element of the 10-year plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler. “The addition of a 5/6 building constructed for the developmental and academic needs this age group of learners will assist the district in managing growth and ensuring equitable learning spaces for years to come. Having 9th in proximity to the high school will enhance student experiences through resource sharing and expanded programing while appropriately addressing the needs of students as they transition to high school.”
College Community continues to grow. Since 2015 enrollment has grown from 5,105 pre-K through 12th grade to 5,800, an increase of 695 students. Enrollment projections adopted by the Facilities Committee estimates that by 2024 the District would exceed 6,000 students. Additionally, several of our communities continue to see growth as new housing developments come online.
Over the next few months you can expect more information about our March 3, 2020 bond referendum.