Friday, August 22, 2014

Public Hearing on proposed new Middle School and Auditorium

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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

September 9th Referendum

The Solon Board of Education voted unanimously to move forward with a September 9th referendum vote.  The district is proposing $25.5 million dollar referendum for the construction of a new middle school and a new Center for the Arts.   Details of the plan and Frequently Asked Questions can be viewed HERE.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, August 25th at 6:30 p.m. in the media center at Solon High School.  Following an overview of the project by Struxture Architects, board members and administration will be available for questions.

In addition to voting on September 9th, an additional satellite voting opportunity will be available on Friday, August 29th at Spartan Stadium from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. during the Solon vs. Iowa City Regina football game.  Patrons interested in voting must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the Solon Community School District.

If you have questions regarding the proposed facility improvements, please contact me at 624-3401 or email:


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New School Year

August 14th, marks the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.  A big thank you to the many people who play a significant role in making Solon one of the finest school districts in Iowa:

  • Our maintenance staff who has done a terrific job over the summer months getting our schools repaired, cleaned and ready for another school year.  
  • Our technology department for working tirelessly to get all of our technology tools ready for students and staff.
  • Our nutrition program for continuing to learn best practice, making our lunch rooms more appealing and getting our kitchens ready to serve 1,000 meals a day.
  • Our transportation department for repairing our fleet and developing new routes for efficiently transporting our students.
  • Our associates for their compassion and professionalism in working with our students and staff.
  • Our secretaries for leading a great culture in our schools by working positively with our students and parents.
  • Our central office staff for their customer service attitude and ability to keep our district organized.
  • Our Board of Education for their vision, leadership and oversight to help every student enjoy a quality learning experience.
  • Our administration for their commitment to excellence and doing whatever it takes to to make our schools successful.
  • And finally, our teachers --- who are simply the best!  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Celebration of Service

Francis Vislisel was honored on May 20th at a retirement party for his years of service for the Solon Community School District.  Fran has delivered school mail for the past ten years.

Several family members and friends attended the ceremony and thanked "Franny" for being a wonderful worker, friend, and genuinely nice guy.

Congratulations Fran!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hills Bank Donation

Our partners at Hills Bank are at it again.  As you can see in the picture below, Hills Bank presented the Solon Community School District with a check for $1,533.52.  This bring their total contributions to the school district to over $23,000.  Thank you to Hills Bank and their continued support of the Solon School District.