July 2, 2020
Dear Ridgefield Community,
As you know, the school bond fell just short of passing the required 60 percent super-majority in February, losing by a narrow (less than one percent) margin.
The upcoming Special Election on August 4th will give voters an opportunity to voice their support for Ridgefield schools. As we promised in February, a much smaller bond is on the ballot as part of the District’s longer-term phased approach.
The $40,465,000 bond program includes the construction of a new 75,000 square foot elementary school to relieve overcrowding at our existing elementary and intermediate schools and accessible and inclusive playgrounds at our elementary schools. Additionally, the bond program delivers land purchase for a future intermediate and middle school campus and the design of the first phase of that campus as well as the future vocational education and classroom building addition at RHS.
Why run a bond election now?
- A successful August election will allow the District to selectively time the bid process, saving the District an estimated 5% (approximately $2,000,000 or more) compared to a bid in the spring.
- The $40,465,000 bond program leverages an additional $12,300,000 in state assistance revenue, which is 30% of our local investment. Those state capital dollars will be spent somewhere. Let those state tax dollars pay for Ridgefield--not other districts’ schools.
- The coronavirus has amplified the importance of adequate space necessary to provide safe distancing for students and staff’s health and well-being. Both South Ridge and Union Ridge Elementary Schools will open the year overcapacity (Union Ridge by 200 students or more!).
- Opening a new school in January 2022 will save the District the expense of purchasing additional portables that would otherwise be necessary for the entirety of the 2021-2022 school year. More importantly, the timing would allow the District to educate 550 students, who would otherwise be in portables, a full semester earlier than a February 2021 bond would allow.
We invite you to learn more about the bond by visiting our webpage at www.ridgefieldsd.org and by joining District staff and board members at a virtual community forum on Wednesday, July 8th at 5:00pm. More information on the community forum will follow.
Great schools and great communities share an important connection. One cannot happen without the other. The stakes remain high. Ridgefield continues to grow, and we desperately need new school facilities. Now more than ever, your investment in our schools is an important investment in the Ridgefield community.
As we remain committed to our pursuit of premier, we know that our success toward that end is only possible because of your robust involvement and support.
Ridgefield School District Board of Directors