As you know, on September 9th, the community will be voting on a $25.5 million referendum. There will be a public hearing on Monday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the Media Center at Solon High School. The Board of Education and administration are committed to providing information and answering questions about the proposed facility improvements.
Three questions that I have been asked multiple times include:
Q1: Is the new middle school big enough for a growing district?
A1: Struxture Architects, who have built many schools, designed the proposed middle school. They have used the recommended square footage when designing the middle school. As you can see in the document below, when compared to our current middle school, the new school would be larger in almost every part of the school.
Q2: How does Solon’s auditorium budget compare to schools that have recently built an auditorium?
A2: Approximately twelve staff members toured recently built auditoriums at Bettendorf, CCA and College Community. The goal was to see design ideas as well as identify top priorities for an auditorium. In the document below, you can see the cost each district invested in their auditorium. Additionally, we are told construction inflation typically runs between 5-8% annually. We have also provided the cost to build each auditorium in 2015, with a 5% inflation adjustment.
Q3: What is the District’s plan for increased enrollment?
A3: As you know, our district enrollment is increasing. In recent years, the resident count has been stagnant while open enrollment has steadily increased. If you drive around our community, several residential developments are taking off and it is apparent that many people are choosing to move to Solon. Our school district is the primary reason. The Board of Education recognizes the Districts need for another school. The proposed middle school and auditorium are Phase I of the district's facility plan. Phase II includes the building of an Intermediate School. As you can see in the document below, the timeline for construction of an Intermediate School is immediately following the completion of the proposed middle school. The Board intends to use SAVE funds (state penny sales tax) to fund an Intermediate School, therefore a referendum would not be necessary, only a future board vote.
I hope you choose to vote in the upcoming referendum. The district is offering a satellite voting opportunity at Spartan Stadium on August 29th during the Solon vs. Regina football game from 4-9 p.m. Additionally, the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on September 9th.