Bond Election

Bond Election
Posted on 02/14/2019
Bond Election

Great news! Thanks to our incredibly supportive communities, our two-year levy passed on Tuesday, February 13. The final count was a strong 66% yes! As always, we pledge to be excellent stewards of the public funds and stretch every dollar to meet the needs and goals of our students. As you may recall, the new 2019-20 tax rate for the levy will be $1.50 per thousand of assessed value. That is a drop from the 2017 listed rate of $2.63 and will remain lower even if the state incorporates any new taxes.

Our School Board, following the work and recommendations of a 45 member community committee, has voted to place a bond issue on the April 24th ballot. This will be the first time in 20 years that a bond issue has come before the Castle Rock School District voters. The last was a small bond in 1998, which the voters passed, and was used to remodel part of the Elementary building. So, as you might know or guess, after all these years, the District's facilities are in great need of assistance.

We have recently performed a formal study of our facilities and the results validated some known issues and brought to light some new ones. For instance, we know that the Middle School is far beyond it's lifespan. All expert reports have stated bluntly that it would be more expensive to remodel that building than to build a new one (for example, the updating of electrical, plumbing and infrastructure costs would be tremendous in that building). As you most likely know, the community voted overwhelmingly last November to place the new Middle School on land near our current High School site.

So, the bond would cover a new Middle School, modernize/remodel both the High School and Elementary buildings and completely update our Security, Safety and Technology systems. These were all identified and recommended by the 45 member committee based upon the expert facility studies.

The 25 year bond would be $42.4 million and the District would receive $17 million in match from the state. That means that we would have over $59 million to pay for the projects, with $17 million that wouldn't be included in the bond issue and therefore would not have to be paid for by our community. That amount of match is amazing for a community of our size - but it is due to the fact that we haven't had a bond issue in so long. Now, that sounds like a lot of money - but believe it or not, it won't cover everything identified by the committee. Because match dollars were utilized in 1998, the Elementary building is not eligible for match dollars until 2028. Therefore, the Elementary building allocation will be less than the Middle School and High School but we will make up for that by dedicating our annual capital levy funds to the Elementary building until those needs are completed. We will also budget sufficient annual maintenance dollars to keep the facilities properly maintained and up-to-date.

You are probably wondering what this bond issue would cost, right? The bond tax rate would be approximately $2.85 per thousand. When you combine the drop in our annual levy with the new bond issue, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay approximately $20 more per month over current home taxes.

I know this is a lot of information but we want complete transparency in everything we do. We are planning many neighborhood meetings over the next couple of months to disperse all information and answer all questions. There will also be mailers, forums, live video broadcasts over computer, etc. with the same information.

Please watch this website, your mail box and other announcements so that you can choose the way you want to receive the information.

Stay tuned!