(Oakland) Riverside Community School District Patrons are going to the polls next week to vote on a $21-million school bond issue. This is the second time in less than a year that the proposed Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade facility is up for a vote. In April, 2011, the 117,000 square foot facility failed by only 7-percent points.
If passed the proposed facility would be built on 68-acres just south of the Highway 59 and Highway 6 intersection, just south of Oakland.
So what about this time around…well there are a few changes to the current proposal, but the dollars remain the same. The changes would include some additional elementary classrooms which will limit interaction between the middle school and high school students, meaning the older students would be able to access all of their classrooms without coming into the elementary area.
“Those changes were important to our staff and some community members, so we incorporated that in,” stated Riverside Superintendent Dr. James Sutton, who admits the yearly savings for the district is one key reason to build the new school.
“The savings on a yearly basis is close to one-quarter of a million dollars,” said Dr. Sutton. “And the plan is to take a fair portion of that money and return it back to a staffing model. The money savings will hopefully make the school district even stronger in our instructional approach. So its ‘a win-win for our students and our community as well,”
Not to mention the possible savings in construction costs, according to Dr. Sutton. “Interest rates are lower than they have been since 1960, and builders are very competitive right now. I am talking to a school district where the construction bid was 18-percent below the architects estimate, for a project very similar to ours. So we think this is a great time to get the best bang for your buck.”
If approved by 60-percent of the voters the new 117,000 sq. ft facility would include; 2-gymnasiums, one of the gyms would have a capacity to seat 1200, people. The plan also includes a 375 seat auditorium, improved parking, an athletic complex, which would include a softball field at the site, plus a number of improved safety features. The Vocational Agricultural will be able to utilize part of the property to plant crops and raise livestock on 20-acres at the site.
There are three voting locations. The Carson Community Building, The Oakland Community Building, and the Macedonia City Hall.
February 1, 2012