Ridgefield School District Set to Host 2017 Bond Community Forum
Sunday, September 25, 2016
|The Ridgefield School District will host a community forum on Tuesday, October 4 at Ridgefield High School from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., providing community members an opportunity to learn more about the 2017 bond. |
Last May, following more than six months of intensive work, the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) delivered a report and recommendations to the Ridgefield School Board, requesting the board to put a bond on the February 2017 ballot.
A unique feature of the CFAC’s process was their purposeful engagement of the whole community. They hosted a community forum in March, held staff presentations at the school sites, provided updates to area business groups, and utilized a subcommittee structure to survey and interview parents, staff, and other stakeholders.
“This really is the community’s bond. We wanted to get as much input as we possibly could,” said Dana Ziemer, the group’s co-chair.
The CFAC recommendations included the construction of a new fifth and sixth-grade intermediate school and seventh and eighth-grade middle school at the district-owned property across South Hillhurst Road from Ridgefield High School. The two schools would share certain core facilities, such as food service, library-media center, and a black box theater to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The CFAC also strongly encouraged the district to continue pursuing the partnership with the City of Ridgefield to develop an outdoor recreation complex on the same property to be used by the school district, area athletic organizations, and the general public. The joint project has the potential to save taxpayers $5 million by constructing shared spaces.
Additionally, the CFAC proposes expanding Ridgefield High School to accommodate an additional 500 students. This project would focus on spaces for the fine arts, special education, science, a new library-media center, and more general education classrooms.
In the bond package, both Union Ridge Elementary and South Ridge Elementary receive safety and security upgrades, and a portion of the existing View Ridge Middle School is repurposed for an expanded community education program and the consolidation of district administration and support services.
The estimated cost breakdowns by project are: