Thank you Forest Hills community for INVESTING in our district, SECURING our schools, and INSPIRING all learners!
Here’s a look back on our 2018 Bond Proposal and some historical information after voters approved the proposal.
In November of 2018, Forest Hills Public Schools community approved a bond proposal to provide $130 million to fund capital improvements phased in over eight years. The Forest Hills Public Schools 2018 bond proposal was developed to INVEST in the district’s infrastructure by upgrading aging systems to save operational costs, SECURE our schools by upgrading safety measures, and INSPIRE our students by providing modern learning environments. The following information provides a historical look on on the bond proposal and updates from 2018-2019.
Eastern Contingent Growth: May 2019 Recommendation Announced to Orchard View and Knapp Forest Families
In 2016, the district invited individuals to serve on the Eastern Contingent Growth Task Force. The purpose of this task force was to bring parents and staff together to provide a recommendation to the district in the event additional enrollment growth was to occur at one or both of Eastern’s kindergarten- through sixth-grade buildings: Knapp Forest (KF) and Orchard View (OV). These schools are the two largest elementary schools in the district. The task force was charged with two priorities:
- Examine available options in the event of future growth in enrollment at KF and OV elementary schools.
- Provide the superintendent a recommendation on how to address overcrowding in KF and/or OV when and if such overcrowding should materialize.
Based on the task force’s recommendation, beginning in the fall of 2020, sixth grade at Knapp Forest and Orchard View Elementary schools will move to Eastern Middle School.
Board Approves Ratifying Resolution: May 2019
The board of education approved the ratifying resolution for the 2019 school building and site bonds in the amount of $38 million.
Approval to Purchase First Phase of Bonds: April 2019
At the April 2019 board of education meeting, Superintendent Behm shared that the district will be pricing the first series of bonds approved by voters in November of 2018. This series of bonds will net $38 million in proceeds. Final approval will come before the board in May.
Individual School Site Visits: Winter 2018/2019
Following a survey of instructional staff and principals, the predesign team, consisting of architects, designers, and school administrators, visited each school site. These visits provided each school administrator an opportunity to provide an overview of the school facility strengths and challenges. It also helped illustrate the range of needs within and across our school facilities. Members of the predesign team collected notes and data during each school visit. This information will be instrumental in providing the architect design teams with important information related to the instructional needs at each school when they begin designing solutions to redesign classroom and learning spaces. Design work will start in earnest in the spring of 2019. The planning phase of this work will take several months. Construction and the redesign of classroom spaces will not begin until the summer of 2020 and will continue over the course of several years.
Bond Proposal Overview
What Every Taxpayer Should Know about the Bond Proposal
- If approved, there is expected to be NO tax rate increase.
- The amount of the bond proposal is for $130 million.
- If approved, the bond proposal would fund capital improvements phased in over eight years.
- The bond proposal was developed to: INVEST, SECURE, and INSPIRE.
- A majority of the bond would go toward transforming over 500 classrooms and educational learning environments where students spend a large portion of their time at school.
This proposal was developed to INVEST in the district’s infrastructure by:
- Upgrading critical mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems such as boilers, chillers,
and fresh air handling units in all schools
- Replacing systems at the end of useful life cycle
- Continuing snowmelt systems
- Replacing roofing, parking lots, and sidewalks
- Relocating and constructing the district’s administration office to the Fine Arts Center campus
- Improving athletic facilities, as identified
This proposal was developed to SECURE our schools by:
- Funding continual improvements to safety and security measures within our district as
school safety solutions evolve
- Updating lighting, occupancy sensors, and surveillance systems
- Replacing aging buses to keep the fleet modern and safe
This proposal was developed to INSPIRE our students by:
- Transforming over 500 classrooms to create dynamic learning environments and
age-appropriate workspaces, including flexible furniture, energy efficient LED lighting,
and integrated technology
- Updating technology infrastructure, including classroom multimedia and devices, to
support teaching and learning
- Providing project-based learning environments to support collaborative learning
- Continuing media center improvements
- Spending the majority of bond funds to transform classrooms, where students
spend a large part of their time at school