Transformation of FHS
Administration's Recommendation for Finishing FHS Transformation
The Fayetteville Public School District administration recommends that the Board approve a bond referendum for the September 21, 2010 ballot in order to fully complete Phase II of Fayetteville High School.
We know that economic times are challenging but we bring forward this recommendation for three main reasons: the cost benefits, the educational opportunities for our students, and the promise we have made to the community to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
1. Because of the state’s funding formula, Fayetteville Public Schools receives no substantive state facility money to assist us in building or renovating campuses as do most surrounding districts and districts in Arkansas. The Qualified School Construction Bond Program is the first time in the history of the district that we can access substantial assistance for construction projects, resulting in considerable interest savings and incentives.
2. The overall high school project was divided into two phases. Phase I optimized the use of $45 million of Qualified School Construction bonds which the district was awarded last Fall. In addition, the district cut its operating budget by $2.5 million in order to finance Phase I. Phase I is currently underway and is fully funded without any additional millage required.
3. In June we received notification that the district was awarded an additional $31.4 million of 0% interest Qualified School Construction Bonds that can be used for completion of Phase II. Over the 15 year life cycle of these bonds, we have the opportunity to save $29 million in interest and incentives and complete the entire project. I believe we must provide the taxpayers the option to decide if we take advantage of this unique opportunity that will not occur again in the foreseeable future.
1. Completing Phase II of the high school will enhance academic spaces and provide the following:
2. Not only will Phase II of the new high school enhance educational opportunities, it will provide more flexible and enhanced learning spaces throughout the entire system as we align assessments, teacher licensure, state regulations and curriculum standards. It will also allow us to expand our Pre-k program by freeing up seats in our current elementary schools. It sets the stage to be a world class system and address our facility space issues for many years to come.
Commitment to the Community:
1. We know that this community supports education and we are keenly aware that each tax dollar for education is precious. The district now operates under the principle of “guaranteed maximum price” related to construction projects, so we move into all building projects with the assurance that we will be within budget. Our progress with Phase I is within budget and on time.
2. The Phase I and Phase II plans were developed with input from several public patron group meetings held in the Fall of 2009. All decision points by the Board have been discussed in public view. We will deliver our promise to the community to provide an affordable, sustainable facility that will stand the test of time, both educationally and structurally.