To start, we want to quickly address why Royce and Wright were scheduled to close this year, but reopened for a K4 Center (Royce) and Even Start Program (Wright).
The reason Royce and Wright were closed as elementary schools was due to the primary / 4-5 reconfiguration (necessary due to state funding cuts to education), in order to make more efficient use of district resources. By doing this, we saved over $2 Million in staff positions (mainly through attrition via retirees), gained an additional $2 Million in SAGE funding from the State (keeps class sizes small in grades K-3), AND gained an addition $300,000 in saved rents by placing the majority of K4 programming in one place.
In addition to the over $4 Million saved through this reorganization, we saw better collaboration between K4 teachers who were in one main space and a school setting for our Even Start families, complete with a gym, kitchen facilities, and much-needed classroom space.
With the referendum, the following buildings will be retired or repurposed:
The Hendricks Development Group has agreed to work with the District to look at various scenarios for these buildings so they do not become vacant eyesores to the surrounding residents. In fact, some of the buildings will be repurposed to save money.
For example, the Kolak staff may be moved from the Kolak Education Center, a current energy hog, to one of the aforementioned buildings. We also will look at relocating RCAA and our Learning Academy to one of those buildings to eliminate rents.
Finally, buildings may be considered for sale to outside parties. An ad hoc committee made up of staff, businesses and community members will be put together to evaluate the various scenarios and come up with a plan for all of these buildings.
Stated another way as it can be a bit confusing:
- Morgan, McLenegan and Burdge are closing since they won’t be elementary schools anymore. They will be sold or repurposed.
- Royce will be closed since K4 will be brought into the primary schools.
- Wright is on the chopping block because Even Start will finally be moved into a more permanent location (hopefully with district offices like it used to be), but Wright will have to be repurposed (most likely for a charter school) since it’s our tech hub.
- Kolak will just be unusable for anyone.
In summary, we’ll need to use one of the five buildings (not counting Kolak) for: Charter School (Roy Chapman Andrews Academy), Alternative Learning Academy, and our Administration Center.