What are we voting on?
What Crestwood voters will see on May 2nd is an issue for 4.45 mills for a 7-12 building and .5 mills Permanent Improvement measure.
How was the cost of a new building determined if you don't know what it will look like?
The State of Ohio has a formula used to determine the budget needed for a school building based on current enrollments, future projections, current available space, total square footage needed, and cost of that square footage. It was through this calculation that Crestwood was given a budget number by the state by which the Bond issue was created. As part of using their formula and projections, Crestwood is able to receive co-funding from the state for the new building. This co-funding would not have been available to Crestwood had the district decided to just renovate the two buildings. We'll talk more about that below.
How can we be sure that the new school can be built for the stated cost? What if it's more?
The new school will be built with a Construction Manager at Risk overseeing the project. This method is preferred because it places a construction professional in charge of the project. The construction manager agrees to a Guaranteed Maximum Price before the start of the design process and cannot exceed that number. The Construction Manager at Risk is responsible for all aspects of the construction process, freeing the district administration from day-to-day construction decisions and allowing them to focus on their responsibilities to the district.
Is the State of Ohio really giving Crestwood money?
Yes! With the passing of the Bond Issue, the State of Ohio will pay nearly 30% of the total building costs. There is no guarantee that we will get any money from the state in the future should the bond measure not pass.
How much will this bond issue cost me?
A yes vote would mean a property with $100,000 in valuation would pay approximately $14.44 a month to support the construction of the new school. You can search for your valuation using the button below.
Search Your Home's Valuation
How can I find out what my property is appraised and assessed at?
You can easily search for your property's assessed and appraised value through the Portage County Auditor website linked below. Search on your address or name and once you get to your specific property, click on the Valuation tab. There you will see the Appraised and Assessed Value for your property.
Search Your Home's Tax Value
Is it true that the cost will go down in a few years?
Thanks to the strong financial management of our Crestwood Team, the bonds from 2003 elementary and primary buildings were refunded (that's similar to refinancing) when the interest rates dropped in 2011. That action took seven years off the payment on the bond. This means that after 2022, property owners will only pay $7.34 per month with $100,000 TAX valuation. We should note that the bond payoff savings was done solely by the refunding and not through staff cuts or allocations from funds that support our children's educational needs or services.
Why are we even building something new? Can't we just renovate?
The short answer is that, based on detailed engineering surveys completed by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission and an independent architect, the cost for renovations of the Middle and High Schools, or renovating the Middle School and adding a new High School wing to it, were both not viable options. The lowest of those two surveys put the budget for renovations of CMS and CHS at a budget of $23,660,000 - without any opportunity for co-funding with the state. That's $660,000 more than the budget to build a new building.
Crestwood just bought boilers and air handlers at the High School? Did they waste our money on those?
Yes, both the High School and Middle School got boilers but they won't be wasted. The High School boilers will be moved to CIS or CPS, depending on which building has the greatest need. Since the Middle School will be repurposed, those boilers will stay there. Only the High School got new univents, which will be moved to the repurposed CMS building. In fact, any recent upgrades such as technology routers - even the decals on the gym walls - had to be done in a way that would allow for them to move to other facilities.
Why are the 6th graders moving down to the Intermediate School?
There was a great deal of thought about this change and it wasn't made lightly. Many factors were considered that looked at the educational successes of our students, their limitations of involvement in interscholastic sports, and space availability in CIS. In addition, the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission would not include the cost of educational space for the 6th graders in their determination of financial support to the district. Adding space for them in the new building would be the responsibility of Crestwood taxpayers only and would cost an additional $5 million dollars to the building of a new school.
How are you going to keep the Middle and High School students separated?
The final decision on how that will be done will come after the bond issue passes and we move into the planning stages of the building. Still, that doesn't mean the district hasn't thought about this need. Several options come to mind such as an upper and lower level or two separate wings. The planning committee will work with the design and architecture team to review other schools, our physical site, and other building needs and factors to determine the best option.
I saw a picture with a building layout on it. Is the new building designed already?
The picture you saw in tweets or handouts was a rendering done by the Engineering firm at no cost to the district to answer the question of whether a building would fit in front of the existing school. The final building design and layout will be determined through focus groups, research, and engineering consultations after the bond issue passes.
Could a building really fit in front of the existing High School?
As mentioned above, the engineering group wanted to be certain of the answer to that question and - at no cost to Crestwood - created a rendering to show that an appropriate sized building could fit in the space of the front parking lot and top of the hill. Again, the official design of the building will happen after voters approve the Bond issue and with the input of many stakeholders (residents, parents, business leaders, staff, etc). Any images of buildings you see are just the examples to show that a building could fit. And, no, there isn't any issue with the soil that would prevent a building from being built in that space.
If the Bond issues passes on May 2, how long before students are in the new building?
Based on engineering estimates and timelines from other districts of similar size, it would take about a year of planning and two years of construction for a new 7-12 building. Best case scenario would have the Class of 2020 as the first to graduate from a new building.
Did Crestwood go over budget when they built the Primary and Intermediate schools?
No, that project came in just over $450,000 UNDER budget. The portion of the remaining budget that came from Crestwood taxpayers was moved to the Classroom Facilities Maintenance Fund for CPS and CIS. Those funds will be used to maintain the major structural components of the buildings, such as roofs and HVAC systems, for those specific buildings. The new 7-12 building will have its own such fund with the passing of this issue.
Will local businesses be able to bid on work for this project?
Under the new Construction Manager at Risk model the district can parcel out contracts into smaller scopes of work and can hire based on best bid, which should open the door to qualifying businesses within our local community.