The link below is information discussed at the community event on 3-20-2019.
Questions can be emailed to:
Dr. Debbie Ehlenburg
Alden-Hebron School District 19 Superintendent
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Informational Flyer: (Click to enlarge)
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Alden Hebron District 19’s Facilities
1. What are the needs?
The most pressing needs as identified in a comprehensive facilities study and the latest 10-year Health/Life Safety study are as follows:
A. Address aging building and infrastructure
- The Middle/High School Building is over 90 years old with much of the infrastructure from 1950’s
- Plumbing, heating, electrical, water and other key building systems have exceeded their life expectancy/cycle
B. Improve safety and security
- Health/Life Safety concerns need to be addressed (for example the fire escape needs to be changed, smoke/fire detectors need to be replaced and/or added)
- General safety/modern day security upgrades are needed
C. Improve learning spaces
- Appropriate spaces for services that did not exist when the building was built
- Curricular changes have impacted the types and sizes of classrooms and labs needed
- More focus is needed for hands-on, minds-on learning opportunities, which need appropriate spaces
- Our goal would be to design flexible spaces to insure the space would continue to meet the needs of students in the future
2. What was the planning process?
The Board of Education had a facilities study completed in 2015 in order to identify the needs of all district facilities. In 2016 the required 10-year Health/Life Safety Study was completed. These two studies identified the needs and estimated costs of repairs/renovations. The board also gathered information regarding district reorganizations, including consolidation, and information regarding tax rates of the surrounding school districts. The board also inquired about estimated costs to build a new MS/HS building and the financing possibilities. Finally, the board created a temporary District Facilities Committee to gather input from community members.
3. Why doesn’t the district have architectural designs for the new MS/HS?
It is very common for a school district to wait until voter approval to begin designing a project. Getting into the design process requires a substantial investment of time and money from the district and ultimately it is more appropriate to take those steps once the voters have given approval to do so. The reason we are able to develop an accurate cost estimate is because we have discussed at length, together with the architect, the intent for square footage, building systems, associated site work, specialty areas, and so forth. We also know the schedule of the project if the voters approve the referendum in April 2019. With all of those factors that are known and using cost data from typical middle school and high school projects, coupled with our expertise in school construction cost estimating, we can develop reliable cost estimates. This process is very common in the public school market because most districts do not invest into the design with taxpayer money until it is approved by the voters. Additionally knowing the referendum budget cannot be exceeded, with a voter-approved referendum, the architects will design the new building to the budget and the construction manager will provide estimates throughout the entire design phase to ensure the project remains on budget well before a shovel hits the ground.
4. Is the MS/HS building ADA compliant?
No. There are currently several areas that are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. One example is that there is no elevator and it is a multi-story building. Some of the other concerns are shared in the facility study and the 10-year Health/Life Safety Study. Copies of these studies can be reviewed in the district office located in the elementary building.
5. How much will my taxes go up?
Please refer to the Impact Calculator.
|Fair Cash Value||Estimated Bond Portion Increase on Tax Bills Paid in 2020|
|$ 200,000||$ 1254.26|
* Based on a Homestead Exemption *
6. What is the cost to renovate and add onto the existing building to meet adequate safety standards, education standards, and bringing it up to code?
The building was built in the first half of last century and was not designed for today’s modern education needs. Alden-Hebron District #19 has spent over 10 years analyzing existing facilities. During this time it has prepared a Needs Analysis of both schools and a 10-year Health Health/Life Safety Survey. Most recently, the District engaged an independent cost estimation firm to perform an analysis for the cost of a new Middle/High school versus doing an addition and renovation to the existing Middle/High school. The analysis shows the estimated cost for a new Middle/High School is $20.3 million versus an Addition and Renovation to the existing school at $17.4 million.
7. Why can’t you remodel the existing MS/HS building?
While remodeling/repairing does not fully achieve the goal of having an up to date learning environment, it is an option. The estimated cost is 17.4 million and would require a referendum. If remodeling is the chosen option, housing the students while repairs are being done would be a considerable challenge.
8. Does the school district currently own vacant land? If so, where?
Yes. The school owns approximately 80 acres that is fully paid for. The land is located on the corner of Price and Kemman Roads.
9. What happens if we don’t build a new school?
The Board of Education will need to run a referendum to have the funds available to make the needed repairs to the existing structure.
10. Why is district reorganization/consolidation not put on the ballot?
The Alden-Hebron School Distict 19 Board of Education Members, the elected officials of the district, determined that to pursue a referendum for a new school building would be in the best interest of the students, families and the members of the Alden and Hebron communities.