CAMPBELL COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD LOWERS TAX RATE AND APPROVES SWEEPING FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS!!!!
I am pleased to share that during the past two months, the Campbell County Board of Education has both lowered the local property tax rate and approved a significant number of facility improvements that have been on our district facility plan and internal needs assessment plan for several years.
The district’s financial position and outlook is good. Our property assessments have increased in past two years, therefore increasing the bonding potential of the district, while allowing the Board to lower our overall tax rate. In the fall of 2018, the approved tax rate was 65.7 cents per $100 of property value which equated to $657 of tax on a $100,000 of property value. This September, due to the financial position of the district, the Board of Education REDUCED the tax rate to 64.2 cents, or $642 for every $100,000 of value. You should see this reduction on your county tax bill this month!
The Board, has additionally been very fiscally responsible over the course of recent years and is in a position to dedicate funds to improve our facilities. Members engaged in a walk-through of facilities in June, evaluating needs and possible projects for investment, based on recommendations from the administration and our architect. Discussions occurred during succeeding months. At October’s business meeting, the Board approved the following projects and funding:
Campbell County High School Flooring – The board approved the Campbell County High School Flooring Replacement. Carpet in the building is original to the high school construction in mid-1990s. Areas requiring replacement are in the library and administrative offices. The indoor walking track carpet will be removed, and the concrete will be polished.
Campbell County Middle School – Front Entrance/ Plaza – This project is for the renovation of the front entrance for CCMS. A new entrance/plaza will improve ADA accessibility through the installation of new entrance ramps. It will also improve safety and security through the replacement of door frames, doors, windows and hardware. It will allow the building to have a more secure vestibule with improved access controls. We will replace/add entrance sidewalks and steps, a weather canopy and signage.
Campbell County Middle School Stadium Renovation – This project consists of renovation, installation, and replacement of multiple items.
1. Bleachers – the existing front portion of the bleachers are concrete. This concrete is breaking off and cracking due to age and the lack of drainage. The wall will be removed, installation of a new retaining wall, drainage system, back fill, grading, straw, and seed.
2. Track – the rubber track is peeling off or has been worn off. Lines and markings are missing or faded from the surface. Track meets cannot be conducted at this time due to the condition. Some asphalt repair will be necessary in some areas. We will repair asphalt issues, replace the rubber track surface, and remark the running lanes.
3. Field Lighting – The lighting for the field/track does not meet current safety codes because the poles are wooden. The poles must be replaced to meet current safety code. This project also includes an update of the electric service to the lights and the installation of new LED lighting that is more energy efficient.
4. Football goal post – existing poles are old and rusting in multiple spots. We will replace both football goal posts.
Cline and Reiley Gym Floors – This project consists of removing the gymnasium floors at both Reiley and Cline Elementary schools, which are original to their construction. Each floor will be replaced with new synthetic flooring and striped to accommodate both curricular and extracurricular programs. Moisture mitigation is included for Reiley Elementary. This project also includes the replacement of the existing bleachers at both schools.
Cline Elementary Elevator – Cline Elementary school is a 2-story building without ADA accessibility to the 2nd floor. The installation of an elevator on the backside of the building will provide the necessary ADA accessibility for the building. It will also assist staff with moving equipment to and from the 2nd floor.
Reiley Gymnasium Air Conditioning – The gymnasium in Reiley Elementary does not have air conditioning. This project will require the installation of a unit on the gymnasium roof. The project also includes all structural and electrical modifications that may be necessary.
I also want to provide an update on Grant’s Lick Elementary. We are currently knee deep in the design phase for the new school which will be situated on the property recently purchased from Plum Creek. We are hopeful to be in a position to break ground within the next two years, depending on our bonding potential and any state assistance that we may receive. We expect the construction of a new Grant’s Lick to cost in the neighborhood of about $20 million. We are currently able to bond $16.5 million, so we are fairly close to our goal.
We know there are other projects to consider and more investments to make. We see the addition of a middle school being the next big project after Grant’s Lick but it will likely be another 6-8 years out before the bonding potential will be available to move forward. Meanwhile, we continue to make improvements to the current middle school such as those recently approved and the $300,000 in new furniture which had been allocated last year and put into service during the last six months.
Ultimately, we are excited about our continued work to improve the instruction, learning and co-curricular environment across the district. We continue to work, doing Whatever It Takes to provide a world-class education and opportunities for our students.
As always, I value your comments, suggestions and questions!
David A. Rust, Superintendent