FREQUENTLy ASKED QUESTIONS
Why IS THE LEVY NEEDED?
The 2019-2020 school year is quickly moving along and we have a lot to celebrate within our district due to the great work of our students and staff. We are also coming into a very exciting time regarding our facilities.
Our Board of Education voted recently to place a bond issue on the March 17, 2020 ballot. Several things precipitated this vote:
1. The state is funding 66% of this project, while our district taxpayers only have to fund 34%, which is a great deal for our community.
2. The 4.67 mil bond voted in 1995 to build the current Middle/High School was paid off recently, thereby coming off our homeowner’s tax statements.
3. Maintenance and Capital costs continue to increase every year as each building ages. Based on assessments from the state, a new elementary and a renovated middle/high school is needed now for our community ensuring our dollars continue to be spent responsibly for our students.
4. Our elementary school students are in need of a new elementary school. Built in 1954, our elementary school classrooms are too small and lack proper technology. The roof is failing and the heating and cooling system is outdated and inefficient. All told, there are a host a maintenance issues at the elementary school. The elementary school needs safety upgrades and is unable to host many elementary-specific events. Entering its eighth decade of service, the current elementary has served our community well, but has reached the end of its tenure as a place where our youngest students come to learn and take part in activities they love.
5. Our Middle/High School is 23 years old and in need of several capital/maintenance repairs and safety upgrades. Additionally, much has evolved in education over the past 23 years and students need enhanced career and technology lab space and equipment to remain competitive in the 21st-century career and college environment.
1. Why does the Middle/High School need a secondary gym?
The District needs a secondary gym, and the Middle/High School is the best location for it due to the number of middle school students who will no longer have to walk to the Old HS gym for practices and games. Currently, students and community members have the opportunity to use 3 gyms in our district. One at the elementary, one at the old HS, and one at the Middle/High. When this project is complete, we will have 3 gyms.
This extra gym is needed for our wrestling program, our middle school programs, as well as the multitude of WJAA youth teams, all of which are located at the Old HS presently. The number of WJAA youth teams in soccer, volleyball, and basketball has exponentially increased over the past decade, not to mention the youth and school baseball and softball teams who use all of our gyms during inclement weather. Just this winter season alone, there are 197 children in Grades K-6 participating in girls basketball, boys basketball, or cheerleading. As it stands now on most evenings, students are in these gyms until 9PM or later.
2. What will the third floor of the renovated portion of the elementary school be used for?
The third floor of the renovated portion of the new elementary school will initially be used for office space for board office personnel (EMIS, Facilities, Student Services, Superintendent, Transportation, Treasurer, and related staff). Additionally, there will be space for auxiliary services (Mental Health Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy).
When (not if) the resident student population of Williamsburg Local Schools grows and we need to add more classroom space and staff, this will be where we expand our classroom space, thereby not having to come back to the community of voters to ask for more bond money to fund additions to our buildings. There is room for 8 new classrooms on the third floor when needed, along with restrooms.
3. What are the new safety requirements imposed by the state of OH?
While we are proud of everything we have done over the past five years to make our buildings more safe, there are more opportunities to further enhance the safety and security of our facilities. The new safety recommendations that are part of our project are not all required by the state of Ohio, but recommended by local, state, and federal agencies along with our own Board of Education’s safety plan implementation. These recommendations are part of the state share of 66%. Included are upgraded security cameras, security vestibules at both buildings so visitors cannot access the school building without going through a double buzzer system, and upgraded barricade systems to keep individual classrooms from being breached. There are a few other items included that are confidential in nature
4. What "cosmetic upgrades" are in the proposed work?
Cosmetic upgrades at the middle/high school are hand in hand with functional upgrades to 23 year old items. Primarily, this is relative to the roof and trim, foundational cracking inside and outside the building, and general finishes such as painting, floor tiles/treads, and ceiling tiles.
5. Specifically what is planned for the "career lab space"?
We are very excited about the re-purposed space in the middle/high school. 1996 is a long time ago when we talk about technology and careers we are now preparing students for. This career lab space will have up to date technology (computers, printers, programming devices, 3D Design/Print devices), maker space technology and materials, as well as new furniture for these spaces and throughout the building. These career spaces will also be used for small group learning, meetings with career mentors and college recruiters, and is funded at 66% by the state.
This bond issue will fund a new and modern pre K-5th grade elementary school on the site of the old high school. The original three-story Main Street section of the old high school will be renovated as part of this project to house some elementary classrooms, community agency meeting rooms, and the board office. This section of the building will also be available as our enrollment grows for accessible classroom space, preparing us for potential future growth and making the most of our community’s tax dollars by limiting the need for a future expansion project.
The bond issue will also fund several needed upgrades and updates to our Middle/High School. These items include 21st-century career labs, enhanced safety items, upgraded technology, and maintenance repairs and/or replacement of the roof, windows, building fixtures, masonry items, and HVAC/Controls.
Another great opportunity with this bond issue will be the addition of enhanced extra-curricular space and a gymnasium at the Middle/High School to serve our students and community, along with our many youth activities that take place during evenings and weekends.
***This gymnasium is a locally funded initiative meaning it will not be partially funded by the state***
If you have further questions, email the levy committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.