North Royalton Board of Education Passes Resolution to Place Bond Issue on November 8, 2016 Ballot
On June 21, the North Royalton Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution (5-0) at a special board meeting to place a bond issue on the November 8, 2016 ballot.
The bond issue, in the amount of $88,900,000 will build one new elementary school to replace the three existing buildings, renovate and build new at the high school and renovate the middle school. The total cost of the project will be $94,837,207, with $4,536,267 being supplied by the State of Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and $1,400,940 being supplied through local funding, thus resulting in the $88,900,000 bond issue.
“Our board is ready to move forward as we are all in agreement that this plan provides students with the resources needed to be competitive in a global economy, provides safety and security enhancements in all facilities, as well as provides an instructional focus on critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity,” said Jackie Arendt, president of the North Royalton Board of Education.
With the middle school bonds set to expire in 2018, the board is asking the community to continue the middle school bond support and add an additional 3.1 mills, which includes a .5 mill continuing permanent improvement maintenance fund dedicated to protect the community’s investment. The actual cost is $18.08 per month, for a $200,000 home value.
“The total millage of this request is 4.9 mills for a 30-year bond issue,” said Biagio Sidoti, treasurer, North Royalton City Schools. “However when you subtract the 1.8 mill currently being assessed by the middle school bond, the net increase is 3.1 mills to the residents.”
“This is a single solution that will take care of our facility needs for generations, including a long-term plan for maintenance of those facilities, protecting our property values while still allowing us to keep our school tax base one of the lowest in the county,” said Dr. Susan Clark, member, North Royalton Board of Education.
"We thank the members of the Community Engagement Task Force who have given every resident of our school district the opportunity to express their opinions about how their school facilities are impacting teaching and learning and what they want the future to look like. We also thank those individuals who have brought their expertise in construction, facilities, and education to the discussions to guarantee that the plan proposed is the best solution for our students and community," said Heidi Dolezal, member, North Royalton Board of Education.
“The plan addresses the educational and facility needs of all students and provides opportunities and classes required for student-centered learning,” said Arendt. “This comes after more than a year of meetings, facility tours, surveys, coffee discussions, public meetings, and many other forums to engage as many residents as possible.”
The plan allows for the district’s schools and classrooms to be redesigned and gives students and teachers the needed space and opportunity to create the leaders of tomorrow. Students will be learning in classrooms and buildings that foster collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, as well as the ability to utilize technology in a 1:1 learning environment. “Education today looks much different than the teacher-centered classrooms of the past,” said Greg Gurka, superintendent, North Royalton City Schools. “Those involved in creating this plan looked at the educational needs of the students first and foremost and then developed a facilities plan to address those needs.”
The facilities plan is needed to prepare students to be competitive in higher education and/or the workforce. “Today’s classrooms no longer have rows of wooden desks but are more open, providing flexibility for individualized, small group, large group and hands-on learning,” said Melissa Vojta, director of curriculum and instruction, North Royalton City Schools.
"This plan has been researched, well thought out and carefully examined by numerous residents and experts. We as a board are unified in our decision and encourage every resident between now and November 8 to come together as well, to move in a positive direction that will take care of our facilities for a long time,” said Anne Reinkober, member, North Royalton Board of Education.
“As a board, we all agree that we need to take action on our facilities issues and the plan developed by the Task Force, with the help of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, is a plan that meets all of our needs,” said Dr. John Kelly, member, North Royalton Board of Education. “I commend the Task Force members and all of the residents who took the time to be a part of an unprecedented program of community conversation and collaboration to bring us to the place we are right now.”
The district will provide several opportunities for the community to engage in conversations and become more educated over the next several months. A link on the homepage of the district’s website, called “Bond Issue Facts,” will be updated regularly with information and community meeting dates.