Raleigh Hills Construction Update
At their December Business Meeting, the School Board voted 5-2 in favor of suspending indefinitely the Raleigh Hill K-8 Addition Project under the 2014 Capital Construct Bond. Funds allocated to this project shall be preserved for future use at Raleigh Hills K-8.
The 2014 Capital Construction Bond included a project for Raleigh Hills K-8 that included building additions to eliminate portables, renovations, and improvements to vehicle circulation across the site. It became apparent that further investments would need to be made in this aging facility within the next 5-10 years that are not currently budgeted. In consideration of these future renovation costs and the constraints of the existing facility, construction of a new, state-of-the-art school in a future bond in lieu of the current project offers many advantages. Suspending the current project will allow consideration of the options available as the next bond is planned.
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The School Board is considering the merits of pursuing the construction of a new, state-of-the-art school in a future bond in lieu of the building addition project planned in the 2014 Capital Construction Bond. They discussed the potential change at their Business Meeting on Monday, November 26, 2018. They will discuss again at their December 17 meeting.
The original planned project was envisioned in 2012 with community involvement and would include the following: improving parking and vehicle access, removing portables, expanding the cafeteria, providing new band and choir rooms, and modernizing science classrooms. We are poised to execute this project with the $12 million budget available. However, it has become apparent we would need to make further investments in this aging facility within the next 5-10 years that are not currently budgeted.
The current school was built in 1927, with major additions in the 1950’s. Buildings of this era were designed to very different standards than they are today. The building today consists of seven different additions that more than tripled the square footage of the original building. These additions have created a school that is less than optimal for accessibility, safety, and learning. Correction of these deficiencies would be extensive and costly.
In addition to these challenges, a building of this age requires ongoing maintenance and repairs. The roof will soon need to be replaced, the heating (currently steam in portions of the building) and ventilation systems will need a major upgrade in the near future. Also, windows need to be replaced, the electrical infrastructure is substandard, and the kitchen is due for a remodel.
The current site configuration makes future expansion of the school and traffic management on the site difficult to improve. The building and front parking is near Scholls Ferry Road and will be closer still if the road is widened by Washington County in the future. Neighboring development and encroachment has resulted in a situation where two neighbors have to access their homes through the school parking lot.
Construction of a new building offers many advantages. The learning environment and classrooms will be greatly improved. Safety and security features will be built in. The new building will be built to withstand a seismic event to the highest standard and allow immediate occupancy following an earthquake. Technology will be integrated throughout the building. This new project would feature a full redesign of the site with play structures, new fields, and improved traffic management as well as architectural elements to honor the history of Raleigh Hills.
This table summarizes the cost of remodel versus replacement:
|Construction Cost Now||$12M||$12M*|
|Construction Cost Added Next Bond||$0M||$33M|
|Repair Costs Next Bond||$15-25M|| $0M|
|Construction Year(s)||2019/20 & 2022-2028|| 2024|
|*$12M from current bond would be reserved until rebuild approved|||||
Construction of a new school would change the timeline for improvements at Raleigh Hills K-8, meaning improvements at the school would be delayed until the next bond in 2022 and the portables would remain for at least four more years. In the event the bond measure does not pass, the $12 million available for the current project would be held and invested in Raleigh Hills K-8 improvements.
On October 18, 2018, BSD staff presented these options to the citizen led Bond Accountability Committee (BAC). The BAC reviewed the options and made the following recommendation:
In consideration of the staff report, the Superintendent’s planning assumptions, long term fiscal responsibility, and the highest benefit for the future students of the District; the BAC supports the recommendation that the School Board pursue construction of a new school at Raleigh Hills K-8 in the next bond measure in lieu of the current Raleigh Hills Addition Project planned under the 2014 Bond, pursuant to the following conditions:
The 2014 Bond funds currently available for the Raleigh Hills Addition Project will be held and utilized at Raleigh Hills if the new bond doesn’t pass.
The School Board will make construction of a new school at Raleigh Hills a high priority for consideration in the next bond.
Staff will provide the School Board with feedback on this proposal from the Raleigh Hills community prior to the their decision.
Learn More, Provide Input
We invite the community to provide staff with feedback that will be shared with the School Board. Additionally, you may send your questions and comments to: