The $14 million dollar bond being used to finance the project will not impact the overall budget. The proposed final budget of a 2.5% tax increase is due to cyber school tuition, retirement costs, increasing special education, health care, and a lack of state and federal subsidies to support mandates. In reviewing tax increases over the last four years of 4.1%, 2.2%, 2.2%, and 2.7%, our current proposed 2.5 % increase is in line with past history. Again the building project bond monies will not impact or annual expenses in any way
The public is invited to a Town Hall meeting regarding the building project and extra-curricular enhancements on June 17th at the Maple Avenue Middle School Auditorium starting at 6:00pm. Preliminary information from the architects indicates that the infrastructure at Rolling Acres, Maple Avenue Middle and the High school are at or beyond their end of life use. It would cost substantial dollars to update the infrastructure of all the buildings. Go to the Littlestown School District Website to see more information (full report) in detail.
The administration and school board have agreed to five guiding principles:
1. Create equity in educational programming.
2. Reduce our overall footprint and building square foot.
3. Focus on quality projects and not additions to old spaces.
4. Balance academic and extra-curricular enhancements.
5. Two phases over 10 years. Phase I K-5 and Phase II 6-12.
Our students and teachers have inequitable educational conditions making it almost impossible to provide the quality of education students need for their future. Two teachers from Rolling Acres commented at a public meeting on June 8th, “students keep their coats on in the winter to stay warm and we have students lay down on the floor in the fall after recess to stay cool”. The conditions at Rolling Acres are not conducive to learning.
When reviewing projected enrollments and outdated buildings, it makes sense to reduce our overall building footprint. For many years, LASD operated with three buildings of Rolling Acres (K-4), Maple Ave (5-8) and the High School (9-12). Alloway Creek was built for the possible increase of student enrollment but that never happened. Alloway Creek was also strategically designed to add more grades to the building. Thank you to past planners.
The professional architects are proposing to close all or part of Rolling Acres, built in 1953 due to significant engineering, infrastructure and safety concerns. Two options have emerged that meet our guiding principles. Option 1 would be to make Alloway Creek a K-4 building and move 5th grade back to the middle school. Option 2 would be to make Alloway Creek a K-5 building. Both options involve closing Rolling Acres in part or full.
In addition to the options above, we will be updating some basic needs at the high school and extra-curricular spaces. 40% or 800 of the 2000 students in LASD participate in extra-curricular activities. Options include creating a multi-purpose field for boys and girls soccer, field hockey and football plus potentially moving baseball to a safer location away from cars and houses. Also we are considering updating our outdoor restrooms, concessions, and bleachers to comply with current Americans with Disabilities Act codes. The final scope of extra-curricular improvements is dependent upon the cost of adding onto Alloway Creek.
Please come join us on and provide your input on June 17th at 6:00 p.m. at the Maple Avenue Middle School.