Why is the Wooster City School District planning to place a bond issue on the May 2023 ballot?
In partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) and members of our community, the Wooster City School District has been engaged in a comprehensive study that has examined every facet of our district facilities. As a result of this study, WCSD adopted a facilities master plan to meet the needs of our growing district based on the state’s assessment and the feedback from our community. WCSD intends to place a 6.7 mil bond issue on the May 2023 ballot to fund the construction of new facilities and renovation of existing facilities as outlined in the master plan.
What is WCSD’s facilities master plan?
WCSD’s facilities master plan will transition buildings to a grade-level approach to ensure equity in each student’s learning environment and consistent instructional collaboration in two phases. Phase one will include constructing a new 6-8 middle school and a new Pre-K-2 elementary school. Phase two will include constructing a new 3-5 elementary school and renovating the existing high school. With this plan, the district is committed to maintaining a school presence on the South end of Wooster, as well as the high-quality instruction and services for which WCSD is known.
What is the projected cost for construction and renovations?
The total cost for the project is estimated at $102,086,000.
How many mills would be required to support the bond?
An estimated 6.7 mills would be required to support the bond issue.
How much will the bond issue cost a property owner living in the Wooster City School District?
For the owner of a $100,000 home, the bond issue would cost approximately $19.60 per month.
In what order will the new buildings be constructed?
The middle school will be built first unless the middle school and Pre-K-2 elementary school can be built simultaneously.
What portion(s) of the current Cornerstone campus will be preserved?
The Playlab will be preserved. If feasible, the bond issue includes funds to preserve a portion of the front facade when constructing the new building. WCSD intends to honor the historic Cornerstone School while constructing a 21st-century facility.
What will be done with the remaining elementary buildings - Kean, Melrose, and Parkview?
The decision for each building will be made individually. If a building is not needed for either educational services or administrative offices, it will be sold or razed and then sold as land.
When will our “number come up” with the Ohio Facilities Commission?
For Fiscal Year 2023, Wooster’s Eligibility Ranking is #409 out of 609. However, many districts ranked above WCSD have already completed their programs. Therefore, we will not be the 409th district funded. The OFCC will not provide an official estimate of when our number comes up for funding, but we tentatively anticipate approximately ten years.
If we move to grade-level buildings, will that increase transportation costs or create a need for more buses and drivers?
Currently, our school buses drop off and pick up students at multiple locations. We anticipate that reducing the number of locations will increase efficiency and lower cost. Our architectural firm is currently investigating to provide clarity on this topic.
Can the North End, specifically Milltown Road, handle the expected traffic increase if we build a middle school on the high school campus?
Yes, we believe it can handle the increased traffic. The school-owned land to the North connects with Milltown Road and Commerce Drive, creating two additional means of egress. In addition, through the Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) agreement with the city, new roundabouts will be constructed by 2024 at the corner of Milltown and Oak Hill and the corner of Oldman and Oak Hill.
What is the poverty rate for each of our buildings?
Last year’s data is below. We anticipate all buildings will have higher poverty rates than last year when families did not need to fill out free/reduced lunch forms to receive free breakfast and lunch.
Wooster High: 27.2%
Is our student enrollment expected to increase, decrease or stay the same?
Due to the increased need for housing in our community along with the housing developments in planning and construction, we anticipate a slight, gradual increase in enrollment. If all housing developments materialize, that represents a 6% increase in the number of homes available, around 600 units. Our district should estimate 1.4 new students for each new housing unit. Over the next five years, this works out to a potential increase of 800 additional students in our district.
If 8th grade goes back to the middle school, will those students still have access to high school-level classes for students who qualify?
Yes, the middle school will be located on the high school campus, providing easy access for students to move between the two schools. We will also provide access to high school courses at the middle school in the appropriate content areas.
Who do I contact with questions regarding the bond issue, facilities, and the Wooster City School District?
Questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.