Bond Iinitiative would fund updates to Windsor-Severance elementary schools | MyWindsorNow.com

Bond Iinitiative would fund updates to Windsor-Severance elementary schools

Mary-Kate Newton
mnewton@greeleytribune.com

If the Windsor-Severance school district's bond initiative passes in November, elementary schools will see updates.

To compensate for record district growth in the last 10 years, the Windsor Re-4 School Board voted in August to put a $104.8 million bond and a $3.6 million mill levy override on the November ballot. If voters approve the bond measure, the majority of the bond initiative on November's ballot will go to a new high school in Severance and an update of Windsor High School. Nearly $9 million will go to the district's elementary schools as well.

Shelly Butcher, principal at Tozer Primary, said that the improvements needed at her school would make a significant impact on students' learning environment.

Tozer is the oldest elementary school in the district, built in 1962. It has seen various updates and additions in 1978 and 2003. But as Butcher pointed out, even the updates are now causing issues to the building.

The addition that was added on in 1978, which includes the library, sits higher than the original school. Other storm drainage issues and a leaking, flat roof has caused flooding in the school.

In the 2014-2015 school year, Butcher said classrooms facing the south side of the building flooded on three separate occasions. Each time, classes had to be moved, teachers' belongings were ruined and the cleanup was awful.

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"It does affect the environment that our students learn in, when the HVAC doesn't work well, or classrooms get flooded," Butcher said. "Environment makes a big difference."

She said that though the current bond won't cover everything, it will fix all major issues.

One concern that is echoed across almost all schools is the need to improve security at the elementary schools. In most cases, like at Tozer, locks in the school are key-operated. Across the board, the bond would switch elementary schools to an electronic, key card locking system. At the two newer schools, Range View and Grandview, the existing electronic locking systems would be updated.

Here is a brief list of updates Elementary schools will get if 3B and 3C pass, but for more detailed lists go to www.weldre4.org/bond and click on the Facility Assessments tab.

Mountain View Elementary was originally built in 1977. The total proposed Bond Repairs will be $3,047,986. Some major improvements include the following:

»Storm drainage to prevent flooding around building

»Repair of retaining wall

»HVAC upgrades

»Plumbing upgrades

Skyview Elementary was originally built in 1982. The total proposed Bond Repairs will be $2,680,709. Some major improvements include the following:

»Replace seals and broken pains on exterior windows

»Replace swamp cooler with direct digital control AC

»Repair and replace sealant on exterior brick

Tozer Primary was originally built in 1962. The total proposed bond repairs will be $2,300,550. Some major improvements include the following:

»Storm drainage to prevent flooding

»Replace walk-in cooler/freezer in cafeteria

»Replace roofing in original areas of the school, and replace shingle roof on modular.

»Grandview Elementary was originally built in 2003. The total proposed Bond Repairs will be $949,519. Some improvements include the following:

»Minor roof repairs

»Repair of HVAC System

»Pave parking lot

»Range View Elementary was originally built in 2010. The total proposed Bond Repairs will be $340,417. Some improvements include the following:

»Provide proper drainage, fall protection and retainage on playground

»Repair of HVAC System

»Replace PA system

Butcher echoed speculation about a future bond program which would focus more on elementary schools and Windsor Middle school, like Windsor Middle School Principal Eric Johnson mentioned last week.

"With the growth in this district, I see an eventual need for another elementary school," Butcher said. "I have room now, not a lot, but I have room for now. That could easily change in the future, though."

No official plans for a future bond like this have been started, but voters will vote for this bond next month.

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Read previous stories from the bond series

How will 3B and 3C improve the district’s middle schools?

How will Windsor High School be updated?

What will the high school in Severance be like?

What is an MLO? How will 3C impact property tax and why does the district need it?

When will overcrowding at Windsor High School be resolved?

To learn more

To read more about the bond and see commonly asked questions go to http://www.weldre4.org/bond.

Ballot issue 3C: General obligation bond

Shall Weld County School District No. Re-4 debt be increased $104.8 million, with a repayment cost of up to $185 million, and shall district taxes be increased by up to $7.4 million annually for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, repairing and improving district capital assets including, among other things:

» The construction, repair and significant improvement of Windsor High School, including upgrades for security and life safety needs,

» The construction of a second high school and related site improvement, and

» The repair of and improvements to the district’s elementary schools, middle schools and operational facilities to extend their useful life and reduce energy costs, and to make upgrades for security and life safety needs, by the issuance and payment of general obligation bonds which shall bear interest, mature, be subject to redemption, with or without premium, and be issued at such time, at such price (at, above or below par) and in such manner and containing such terms, not inconsistent with this ballot issue, as the board of education may determine; and shall ad valorem property taxes be levied without limit as to the mill rate to generate an amount sufficient in each year to pay the principal of, premium if any, and interest on such debt and to fund any reserves for the payment thereof?

Ballot Issue 3B: General fund override

Shall Weld County School District no. Re-4 taxes be increased up to $3.6 million annually (to be phased-in $1.2 million each year over a three year period) to provide funds for, among other things,

» The operating costs of a new high school,

» The operating costs relating to facility improvements at Windsor Charter Academy, and

» Expanding and improving student access to technology in every school by a property tax, to be imposed if, and only if, ballot issue 3C is approved by the district’s electors and to be levied at a rate sufficient to produce the amounts specified above, which taxes shall be deposited into the general fund of the district and shall be in addition to the property?