New Elementary School
We are happy to share that on June 13, 2018 the Lakewood Local Board of Education voted to approve the final resolution to proceed with the bond issue for a new elementary school.
This decision allows us to move forward with plans for a new elementary school by placing the bond issue on the November ballot. Over the last year and a half Lakewood community members, parents, staff and students have worked together to outline plans for the new elementary school that will house Pre-K through 5th grade.
The Bond Includes:
| New Elementary School Pre-K - 5 with Storm Shelter|
| Additional Access Drive from Route 40|
| Demo of Jackson A & B|
| Middle School HVAC and Ducted System|
| Middle School Fire Suppression System|
| Middle School Lay-in Ceiling and Sound Control|
| Middle School Roofing, Coping and Insulation|
| High School Roofing and Insulation|
The issue placed on the November ballot is for $39.8 Million
for 28 years
and will be collected at an estimated 5.10 mills
and an estimated 4.5% interest rate
Estimated Homeowner Cost:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is a new elementary school needed?
A new elementary school is needed to provide the best education possible for our students. The physical school structure has a tremendous impact on students, staff and community. A recent article from Penn State University shared, “A growing body of research has found that school facilities can have a profound impact on both teacher and student commitment and effort. With respect to teachers, school facilities affect teacher recruitment, retention, commitment and effort. With respect to students, school facilities affect health, behavior, engagement, learning and growth in achievement… without adequate facilities and resources, it is extremely difficult to serve large number of children with complex needs.”
Our aging facilities at Hebron and Jackson present many challenges for staff and students. These challenges include: limited educational space, technology limitations, electrical challenges, lack of secure entry vestibules, no air conditioning at Hebron, traveling outdoors between buildings at Jackson, among others. As the buildings continue to get older, maintaining those facilities also becomes more costly. It is for these reasons that we are seeking a new facility for our elementary school students.
2. How did the district decide to build a new school rather than renovate existing buildings?
The Elementary Planning Team, led by architects specializing in educational facilities and including community members, staff and students, worked together over several months to explore options to address aging elementary school facilities and educational goals for the future of Lakewood schools. During the study, it was determined that the cost to renovate the school would be more than 80% of the cost to build new. A new building is expected to last for 50 years. The OFCC (Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) recommends building new when the cost to renovate is 66% or greater than the cost to build new. This information led the Elementary Planning Team and the School Board to decide that building new was the best solution.
3. How is the levy proposal now different from the one the Elementary Planning & Finance Task Force presented to the School Board last fall?
The total cost of the project is now $39,800,000 compared to last fall’s cost of $41,500,000 of which, $33,900,000 would have been financed through the bond issue. The plan last fall included $5.5 million in internal financing using Certificates of Participation (COPs). The COPs have been eliminated in the current plan. The district continues to build their capital improvements fund, which is projected to reach $2 million by 2020. The plan last fall also included additional improvement projects throughout the district that have been removed from the current plan to prioritize the building of the new elementary school and a few high priority projects. The current plan includes a new elementary school to house Pre-K through 5, an access drive from Route 40, demo of Jackson A and B, a new roof and insulation at the high school and a new roof, coping, insulation, air conditioning, sprinkler system, new ceilings and sound control at the middle school.
4. Why did the total cost of the levy increase?
While the total cost of the project did not increase, the total amount financed through the bond issue has increased due to the elimination of the district loan or Certificates of Participation (COPs) ($5.5 million in internal financing using COPS) and an estimated 6% increase in construction costs. By removing the COPs, the district is committing to a long-term Capital Improvement Plan to address the ongoing facility needs, including those projects eliminated from last fall's proposal.
5. If the levy passes, when will we see a new school?
When the levy passes in November, we will begin planning immediately and construction is estimated to begin in 2020. A school of this size will take approximately 18 – 20 months of construction. We hope to be in a new building in 2022.
6. How is this levy different than the one we passed last year?
Last year we passed the renewal of an emergency operating levy, which supports district operations and did not increase taxes for our community. The levy that is on the ballot for November 2018 is a bond issue for a new elementary school. Passing this levy will allow us to replace aging facilities and create a 21st century learning environment for our elementary school students in grades Pre-K through 5.
7. When will Lakewood High School be paid off?
Lakewood High School will be paid off in 2026. This is a separate tax levy assessment that will no longer be paid after that time. Today, residents are paying 1.80 mills for the high school bonds.
Elementary Planning Team & Finance Taskforce share their recommendation to address Lakewood's facilities needs
As part of the Elementary School Planning process, community members and staff learned about school finance and worked together to propose a financing recommendation to the Lakewood Board of Education. Notes and articles from their meetings can be found at this link.
A facility designed with the latest construction requirements, enhancing student health and safety and supporting the most advanced ADA standards
- Maximized instructional time with improved academic planning flow by streamlining arrival and dismissal and having adequate space for lunches
- Improved instruction with flexible learning environments, classrooms properly sized to age groups, and physical space that better supports STEM based project learning and other modern teaching methods
- Housing grade levels with Pre-K through 5th in one building enables teacher collaboration
- Research shows improved sustainment of learning and student achievement with fewer transitions between buildings
- Better technology throughout the building readily available to aid in learning and to prepare students for 21st century skills and state assessments
- Air conditioning will create a more comfortable learning environment which will improve focus for students and staff
- Psychological development will be enhanced by the overall school structure, color in the building and adequate lighting
- Upgraded electrical supports technology needs and day-to-day operations