Volunteers with the Junior Achievement program taught third-graders at Margaret Mead Elementary School how a city functions.
Capital Projects Levy
The 2014 Capital Projects Levy
- Replaced the previous levy, which expired at the end of 2014.
- Authorized collection for four years of an annual levy for capital each year.
- Will expire at the end of 2018.
- Includes funding for both district facilities and for technology.
Purpose of a Capital Projects Levy
A capital projects levy provides funding for items that require a larger sum to acquire, improve, or maintain a capital asset, such as a school building or a technology solution.
The state provides a minimum amount of funding for technology in schools. At the same time, the need for technology in our school district is growing. More and more traditional book-based curricula include digital resources. Other educational software programs can supplement learning or give students who need extra help another way to learn. Classroom technology enables teachers to enhance classroom learning. The district’s Mobile Access for Students program ensures that students can use individual computing power that is aimed at learning in class or at home.
In addition, running a school district creates the same needs for business systems that a corporation with a budget of over $250 million would need. In fact, those business systems are critical since the district must report to the state, the federal government and to citizens how each dollar is spent.
The increasing dependence on technology, including the use of over 21,000 student computers, requires increasing amounts of infrastructure, support and staff expertise. Support for 26,000 student users and 3,300 staff users keeps students learning, staff productive and running the business of the district.
A more detailed look at the Technology portion of the Capital Projects levy
- Category: Technology Infrastructure & Support
Description: Maintain server and operating system equipment, replace old network equipment and increase capacity, refresh storage and backup servers, complete disaster recovery enhancements. Enhance network security systems. Replace phone system and maintain and update fiber network. Provide additional trained staffing to support technology infrastructure.
Cost: $20.7 million
- Category: Equipment
Description: Replace student computers on a four-year life cycle at current ratios (Grades K-2 at 3:1, Grades 3-5 at 2:1, and Secondary at 1:1). Replace classroom technology, including teaching presentation stations, projectors, document cameras, and interactive whiteboards at end of equipment life. Replace limited central printing equipment. Replace staff computers.
Cost: $28.5 million
- Category: Instructional Software & Support Systems
Description: Provide resources to enhance instructional and assessment software. Maintain current level of instructional support staffing.
Cost: $9.3 million
- Category: Business & Technology Systems
Description: Provide resources to enhance business system and technology operations software and support.
Cost: $8.8 million
- Category: Technology Training and Professional Development
Description: Maintain current teacher training program for new instructional technology and software.
Cost: $18.3 million
Total for technology portion: $85.6 million
Capital projects also ensure that buildings and sites are kept up over time. Major systems like roofs, hot water systems, lighting, and flooring are replaced or upgraded on a life cycle basis. Physical education and athletic facilities can be renovated to ensure safety. Health and safety upgrades to buildings can be installed.
During phases 1 and 2 of the district’s modernization program, a total of 21 aging school buildings were replaced and/or renovated. There is less need for facilities capital projects as fewer buildings in our district are old enough to reach the end of the life cycles of major systems. However, capital projects are still needed to ensure that major building and site systems are replaced when at the end of their useful life or that upgrades are made for educational or health and safety reasons.
A more detailed look at the Facilities portion of the Capital Projects levy
- Category: Building Systems & Improvements
Description: Complete projects to replace and/or upgrade fire alarm systems, heating, ventilation, hot water, energy, lighting, and trash compacting systems; roofing, insulation, doors/locks, exterior paint and surfaces; improve remote building monitoring; replace and upgrade flooring.
Cost: $21.2 million
- Category: Site Improvements, Athletics & Playfield Upgrades
Description: Complete projects to upgrade aging walkways, hard surfaces and parking paving, stadium turf, all-weather fields, and tennis courts. Renovate tracks, upgrade parking and site lighting, site drainage, and erosion control.
Cost: $4.8 million
- Category: School & Program Improvements
Description: Complete projects to enhance educational program and/or address emergent building needs. Provide funds for projects to be identified by Facilities Levy Advisory Committee. Add portable classrooms and/or replace aging portables.
Cost: $9.3 million
- Category: Code, Compliance, Health & Safety
Description: Complete projects to improve ADA handicap access, and address future code compliance/improvements; remove and upgrade treated landscape timbers. Upgrade all classroom doors with inside locking mechanisms and improve interior window security shading. Improve site access, vehicle traffic flow, and student drop off areas. Install exterior door proximity identification card systems at all sites.
Cost: $6.3 million
Total for facilities portion: $41.6 million
What does the Capital Projects Levy pay for?
This measure would provide for technology investments to help students be prepared for the future, including:
- Enhanced technology infrastructure, equipment, and training
- Replacement of student computers to ensure they are functional and support learning (without replacement, computers would be 6-8 years old)
- Providing teacher professional development on new technologies
- Funds for instructional curricular software and programs
This measure also would provide for investments in facilities and sites in order to maintain quality learning environments, including:
- Upgrades to interior/exterior locks and window shading to enhance security
- Projects to ensure facilities are accessible to those with disabilities
- Improvements to site safety and traffic flow
- Upgrades to major systems, such as roofs and heating systems, on a life cycle basis
- Ensuring the safety of sports facilities and upgrading them when they reach the end of their useful life