Building Levy Input Meeting

Building Levy Input Meeting

The Elgin/New Leipzig public school is dedicated and passionate about relationships, teaching and learning, self-reflection, acknowledging greatness, and support of the Elgin/New Leipzig Community.  We are driven towards continuous improvement.  This commitment to improvement is why we are seeking ways to reinvest in our building so we can continue to provide a strong education.  The schools of our rural communities are the heartbeats of the town.  When schools are no longer operating, often the community dwindles as well.

Community Support

Community Support

We currently serve approximately 170 students and our projections show a steadily declining enrollment.  We have 9 professional staff in the elementary and 15 in the high school.  We are presently able to offer a full selection of curriculum and supplement our offerings using ITV courses.  We have several successful extracurricular and co-curricular programs.  This past year our girls basketball team won the state title and in FFA one of our students was selected as the Star Farmer of North Dakota.  These are both huge accomplishments and we perform well in several other programs that we offer as well.

We are a small rural school located in southwest ND.  Farming and ranching

Lunch with a hospital administrator

Lunch with a hospital administrator

constitute the primary source of income for many of our families.  The primary employers our communities are the banks, hospital, implement dealer, welding shop, and the school.

Due to our size we are able to provide opportunities for our students on a more individual and/or small group instruction basis.  Utilizing programs like school-wide title and OTS (opportunity to succeed) we provide interventions to struggling students on a one-to-one level.  This past year we also implemented Multi-Tiered Systems of Support in our elementary and plan to continue this implementation into the high school in the 2018-2019 school year.  Our small size also means our staff gets to know each of our students and many of our staff work with our students over several years.  These sorts of strong relationships are not possible in a larger district.  These intervention programs insure that our students receive the support they need and do not fall through the cracks.

We want each student to graduate choice-ready.  We want to make sure all

Our Students

Our Students

of our graduates are ready for post secondary, work force, and military jobs.  We will foster a positive partnership with all stakeholders.  We will develop a formal communication plan to proactively engage stakeholders.  Every child can change the world; therefore, we must provide a world class education.  It takes a village to raise a child and we must all work together to provide our students the best possible chance to succeed.

Our district currently has a taxable valuation of $9,997,649 equating to roughly $56,805 per student enrolled.  We presently levy 70 mills for our general levy and 12 mills for our miscellaneous levy.  Both of these levies are at the maximum our school is allowed to request.  This makes for a total of 82 mills that the school levies.  This roughly translates to $9,998 dollars per mill.

North Dakota Century Code allows a school district to levy for a building fund.  This is a fund that can only be spent on building expenses.  This can include such things as renovation, repair, expansion, or improvement of school buildings, property and grounds.  It can also be used towards the maintenance costs of maintaining the building.  We are not seeking to start new construction.  That type of funding is called a bond levy and only exists for the duration of a building project.  A building fund levy is authority the school board can use to allocate resources for the building and is not tied to a specific building project.  Unlike a bond levy the school board can also adjust the levy from year to year to match building needs.  Presently 83% of North Dakota schools and  79% of SW Region ND public school districts have building levies. The Roosevelt school district levies 9.96 for its building fund.  Mott-Regent levies 15 and Hettinger levies 9.92.

Our school facilities are aging and are in need of updates for comfort, energy

Elgin School

Elgin School

efficiency, safety, and other learning environment improvements.  Parts of our building are over 80 years old and many of our environmental systems are simply wearing out.  In the lower and upper grades we have several textbook series that are nearing or over 15 years old.  A building fund would enable the district to reinvest in the building and pursue capital projects to increase the longevity of our building.  Presently all 12 of our miscellaneous mills are going towards the payments on our new boiler.  This amount does not cover the full cost of the boilers payment.  At roughly $206,000 the cost our our boiler payments are over 20 mills.  Since the miscellaneous fund does not cover the costs of these payments those costs are placed upon the general fund.  We are presently operating with minimal staffing, investment in supplies, and maintenance.  This minimal reinvestment in school is not sustainable. We want to take small bites out of this process and work towards improving our facilities.  Without reinvestment in the school we could end up in a situation where we will be fiscally unable to tackle maintenance that has been deferred for several years.

Since 2013 our operating costs have been typically around the $430,000 marker.  The last 3 years have seen steady increases in operating costs.  This is with cuts to staffing.  The rising costs of services, maintenance, and other items simply keep pushing the cost of operating higher.

We ask for the support of the communities toward establishing a building fund.  We encourage you to vote yes in November for reinvesting in our school and providing our children a quality space in which to engage in learning.  Our students are provided an exceptional education.  We invite you to tour our building and have lunch anytime.  See what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.

What happens if we do not get a building levy passed?  We would have to take serious looks at our programs, activities, and facilities.  This would include things like programs, class sizes, staffing, extracurricular activities, deficit spending in our operating budget, utilizing tuition or special reserve levies to offset operating budget shortfalls, and the viability of our swimming pool.  In short, if we do not pass a building fund, we will need to make drastic cuts.  Cuts such as combining classrooms, eliminating athletic programs, and ceasing our operation of the pool.  These types of cuts will hurt our programs and it will hurt the education and services we provide this community.

So what are some of the issues we need to look at addressing in the near future?

    • Temperature Control and Energy Management
      $50,000 – $150,000
    • School overheats during the winter months – Average Room Temperature=74°. These temperatures and humidity levels negatively affect the indoor air quality and learning environment.
    • Lighting
      $125,000 – $200,000 (Est. 5-year Replacement Costs)
    • The majority of the lighting throughout the facility consists of T-8 lamps with electronic ballasts.
    • Heating Systems
      $10,000 – $75,000 (Maintenance and Repairs – 5-Year)
    • The boiler and heating systems will be evaluated in detail to ensure proper operation and optimal efficiency. The main boiler system consists of 2 coal boilers, installed in 2016. The primary boiler is new, while the secondary was purchased used.
    • Ventilation Systems
      $75,000 – $250,000 (Est. 5-year Replacement Costs)

      • Facilities have a number of areas that could have indoor air quality problems. During a complete audit, these locations will be identified and proposed solutions will be given.
    • Natatorium (Indoor Pool Area)
Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

$100,000 to $350,000
(Est. 5-year Repair/Replacement Costs)

  • Indoor pool areas are sensitive and require additional care. Without proper operation, they can quickly spiral out-of-control and negatively affect other areas of the facility. The natatorium is located on the south end of the facility, and the filtration appears to be original to the construction of the facility.  There is 1 ceiling-mounted unit heater, located in the northwest corner of the space.
  • Building Envelope Systems
    $50,000 to $500,000
    (Est. 5-year Repair/Replacement Costs)
  • Roofing Systems
    A detailed analysis was performed on the roofing systems.  The following was noted:

    • Fully-adhered roofs west of gymnasium are in fair condition. These roofs have holes and damage to penetrations. Seams to gymnasium roof is failing.
    • Built up roof south of gymnasium is in poor condition. Flashings are failing and the roof is deteriorating.
    • Ballasted roof south of gymnasium is in poor condition. There are multiple holes in the roof membrane. Flashings and seams are starting to fail.
    • Fully-adhered gymnasium roof is in fair condition. Flashing on south wall has pulled away from wall. Seams are failing where gym roof meets flat roofs on both sides.  Multiple holes in roofing material.
    • Fully-adhered roof east of gymnasium is in poor condition. Multiple holes in roofing material.
    • Fully-adhered roof east side of the building is in good condition. There is missing metal fascia around the perimeter.
    • Built up roof areas north of the gymnasium are in poor condition. The perimeter flashings have failed and there are multiple splits in the roofing material. The roofs do not appear to drain properly.

    Window Systems
    A detailed analysis will be performed on the window systems.  The following will be performed as needed:

    • Check age, type and condition of window systems.
    • Identify missing or deteriorated seals.
    • Document broken windows.
    • Check window openings for deterioration.
  • Structural Concerns
    $100,000 – $250,000
    Within 1-3 Years – Budget Estimate

    • Walls
      • The foundation along the south wall of the elementary school is in need of repairs to stabilize and prevent further movement.
      • Evaluate water penetration into the building.
      • Evaluate the facility for proper drainage.
      • Tuck pointing is needed in various areas around the exterior of the facility.

So how does this impact the taxpayer?

Tax Payer Impact

Tax Payer Impact

Tax Payer Impact

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also bring your taxes into the school and we have a spreadsheet in which we can plug in your financial numbers to figure out how a building levy may affect your taxes.

We ask you to vote yes in November to reinvest in our school.  A yes vote to keep our school healthy and in good repair. Polling will be held at the Elgin/New Leipzig Elementary School foyer.  We want to hear your voice and we hope you will show your support for our school.  To approve a building levy we need a vote of the people with a minimum of a 60% yes vote.

Feel free to contact the school with any questions you may have.

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