On October 29 the Board of Education held a special study session to hear recommendations from the Infrastructure Task Force. The citizens group, made up of approximately 35 to 40 members, began meeting on August 1. As part of their work to gather information and develop a recommendation to the Board, the group attended six meetings and toured several schools in the district.
In summary, the Task Force recommended:
- Addressing the infrastructure needs of the district should be the Board’s top priority followed by creating capacity at schools to meet enrollment needs, ensuring a safe and secure environment, and finally air conditioning all schools. Infrastructure needs include items like boilers, electrical upgrades, parking lots, windows, technology and other needs too costly to be covered by the General Fund.
- The Task Force recommended remodeling or additions to existing buildings as the best solution to create capacity that supports curriculum and instructional needs. The Task Force did not recommend the use of a separate or new building to house 9th grade Fordson students. They also did not recommend the construction of a fourth high school.
- Placing a tax neutral (no increase) bond proposal on the November 2019 ballot that would generate almost $200 million.
The Task Force felt their work gives the Board a very clear idea regarding the priorities of the community and provides a starting point for the administration to develop a more detailed plan.
At the November 12 Board of Education meeting trustees gave the administration approval to move forward on prioritizing the work that needs to be done at all schools and then developing a comprehensive plan to accomplish that work within a $200 million budget.