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You asked-we listened

date 06/19/2017 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

The facilities task force group met last night to discuss ways to get the information out to our taxpayers regarding the building bond and ways to gather more feedback from all parties.

Three areas of criticism stood out from our two previously failed bond referendums.  
There were three areas that drove our discussion:  1.  How can we do a better job of defining and communicating the district's needs.  2.  How do we do a better job of gathering feedback and building consensus and ownership with our taxpayers?
3.  What data are we missing and how do we get accurate data out to all parties?

We all agreed, that by taking the year to listen and communicate our needs, will be an important  step to a successful bond referendum.  

Our first task is to mail out a short survey to all registered taxpayers and ask them to take the time to fill out a short survey and return the survey in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided.  We decided to use the paper method versus hiring a company or using other more expensive survey methods.

The information you provide will drive our bond planning process.  Our goal is to work with you to put forth a building project that the majority can support.

We need your help and guidance.

We invite you to take this year get to know who we are - We are "CLIPPERS" - proud of our tradition and our past but also looking to build our future and prepare all the children we serve for their future.    

Together we can accomplish great things!  

The Cleveland School-Independent School District #391 is the "Heart of this Community"

Sincerely,

Brian J. Phillips


 

Bond Referendum Postponed

date 04/18/2017 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Greetings:  The Cleveland School Board approved postponing the building bond for one year.  Over the next twelve months the district will work on gathering additional feedback regarding the school district facilities.   The board will re-evaluate the facilties project in April or May of next year and make a determination about the building project at that time.  

The Bond Failed again...now What?

date 02/10/2017 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Let me start by saying...thank you to all the people who worked behind the scenes and out in front during this Bond Referendum process.  A great number of people shared some very nice sentiments about this school and community.   

It failed...and now what?  We all should start by taking a deep breath and take a step back to reflect on the process.  Many people spent a great deal of time in meetings or talking to people about the needs of our school and the needs of our students.  The more invested you are in the process the harder it is to accept failure. Truthfully, it hurts.    I know that feelings are running high and we are disappointed in the results.  But...we need to remember why we are doing this and we cannot accomplish what we need to do, without working together as a community/district.   We need each other and we need to work together to solve this.   

We are the Cleveland District and we all have the right to our opinions and our votes.  That is how the process works.  We will reconvene the Task Force Steering Committee to discuss the next steps.   Our needs aren't going away and the costs to get it done will only go up as the process is delayed.  


We need to hear from you.  One possible next step is to send a letter to every household of registered voters asking for feedback.  What are our options?  Is there anything we can scale back on?  What annual increase amount would you be willing to support?  


In the meantime...as we go back to the drawing board and determine our next steps ,...the good news is that...we have a healthy fund balance, our sports, music and educational programs are stronger than ever.  We have a dedicated staff and community that support what we are trying to do here.   We will continue to work on strengthening all of  our programs and work on attracting new families and students to our school and community.  We will not give up on this mission because it is too important to us, our community, our school and the families that we serve.  

The Cleveland School continues to shine brightly and is a beacon of welcome to any family and students who enter our school doors.    We promise to nurture them, care for their well-being and educational preparedness.  And ...when the time comes...send them forth prepared with 21st century skills and the confidence to make a difference in this world. 

Thank you...the journey continues.......

Bond Referendum February 7th, 2017

date 11/03/2016 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Yes, it is true. We are going out again for a Bond Referendum scheduled on February 7th, 2017.  Following the failed bond referendum of last May, we went right back to the drawing board to make changes.  We met again as a group to discuss the results and what we were hearing from our voters.  We put out another survey to gather more feedback from our taxpayers.  We want you to know that we heard you.  The project has been scaled back from the original $34 million to slightly under $18 million.   One project, one question -$18 mill.  Around $15 million is designed for the new construction.  The new section will include a gym, a lobby or multi-purpose area and a wing of classrooms.  The classrooms include a band practice room, four elementary classrooms, a stem room, a new shop area, three secondary classrooms plus a new art room.  The lower lobby are will also include restrooms, concession area and the kitchen.  

The new wing will allow us to re-purpose several classrooms or areas in the exiting facility that will address a number of our needs.  The things we cut from the project include:  The Performing Arts Center, the commons area, the walking track and the fitness center.  We also cut a number of projects that were being planned for the existing facility.  We had identified about $6 million in upgrades and renovations to the existing facility and now out of the $18 million bond we will have earmarked $1 to $1.5 million of those dollars towards the existing facility.  We will identify the highest priorities first and see how far the dollars will take us.  

Please go to the school's web site for more information on tax impacts etc.  

On behalf of the District, I want to assure our tax payers that we will use the funding in a fiscally sound way, that serves to meet the needs of our students and keeps this community and school going strong.  

In regards to the Bond referendum our motto is   " WITH the community ...not TO  the community"  

 

Bond Referendum Questions and Answers

date 05/03/2016 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

You are cordially invited to attend the Bond Referendum Informational meeting to be held at the school on Tuesday, May 10th at 7:00 P.M. in the big gym.  

We will have representatives from Brunton Architects, Ehlers Financial and the Cleveland School District on hand to answer your questions.  

I have created a list of the top twenty four questions and answers and it is available on the school's web page.

We hope to see you there.  
 

Tax Impact Chart

date 03/07/2016 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

The School's web site now has a resource from Ehlers to better understand the tax impact of the proposed Bond Referendum.  The property tax information site provided by Ehlers has a lot of useful information and numbers to call if you should need additional assistance with the tax impact.  

If you go to the school's web page and right in front there is a link to property tax information.  Included in the information is a tax impact table that can be located by going to step 5- method A and there is a link that says click here.  

The tax impact table is divided by Question 1 and 2 and then the total of the project in the third column (if both questions pass).  

Please don't hesitate to call Ehlers for additional information or you can contact me (Mr. Phillips) directly to ask questions.  I can be reached at 507-484-1300.  

Ready for Board Approval

date 02/05/2016 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

On Monday, February 8th, 2016 the Board is planning to approve a resolution calling for a bond referendum that will ask the voters to approve a building and updating project totaling $34 million. The bond will be put before the voters on May 24, 2016 and will have two questions.  Question #1 will be asking for #20 million to add a commons area with a new kitchen, 11 new classrooms, acquisition and preparation of the site, improvement to parking and traffic flow; and a series of improvements, remodeling and upgrades to the existing facility including: roof replacement, secure entrances, energy, mechanical etc.  
Question #2 which is contingent of the passing of question #1  will ask for $14 million to finish the project by adding on a new multipurpose gym with a walking track and fitness center, lockers, weight room, performing arts theater, and completion of exterior and interior remodeling projects, upgrades and improvements to the existing facility.  

I would like to thank the members of the Facilities Task Force and Brunton Architects for their work in developing the vision for our  community and school.  I want to thank the Board members for all their dedication and extra time to this project.  This project represents years of work and study by a number of individuals.  Over the next three and half months we will be conducting public meetings, mailing out flyers and doing what we can to bring you the information you need and answer all of your questions.  

"This is truly a community effort to build our own future"   


 

Minutes from our last Facilities Task Force Committee

date 12/03/2015 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

The Facilities Task Force Committee met on November 19th.  The minutes and the drawings we looked at that evening were added to our web page.  The plan moves forward to the next stage where soon we will see floor plans, elevations and costs.  The biggest challenge was trying to figure out the transition from one building to the next as you move further South and West down the hill.  The hill drops over twenty feet and designing the flow of human traffic and all the other details was quite challenging.  Joseph Conti- our architect from Brunton, has successfully solved the transitions.

We are planning on getting the Vote Yes committee running again as we move forward with our plans to present the building plans to the public with a Bond Referendum scheduled for a vote some time this Spring, 2016.  Please contact me if you are interested in serving on this committee.   

We will also be scheduling several public meetings to showcase the building plans and discuss the details of the project.  

 

Exciting news! "Setting Sail"

date 11/20/2015 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Last night we met with the Facilities Task Force Committee to review the proposed changes to the building plan.  The Task Force has given the architects and engineers the go ahead to move to the next phase of our planning.  The architects will be drawing up the floor plans and elevations.  At our next meeting, we will get our first look at what the whole project looks like with all the components we talked about.  The floor plans will give us a better sense of how things are set up and how people will transition from one space to the next.  The project discussion will also include plans to address the moving of the runoff that runs through the property we bought, to accommodate for a new street and parking spaces.  

As part of our ongoing community engagement plan, we sent out the second of three planned surveys to all of our people/e-mail addresses.  The survey questions focused on the facilities.  Once we have the design drawings of the proposed building plans and the approximate costs, we will have public meetings to gather community input.  The process of refining the project and gathering more input will continue all the way up to the Bond vote scheduled for sometime in the Spring of 2016.  

On behalf of the Cleveland School Board, I would like to let you know how much we appreciate the tremendous support that the Cleveland and surrounding communities  have provided for our students and school.  Without this support, Cleveland School would not be as successful as it is.  We are very mindful of our responsibility to the entire Cleveland community /District and surrounding communities and believe that this Capital Improvement Plan represents a responsive and responsible approach to the continuing enrollment growth in our school as well as the need to invest in maintenance and expansion of our facilities.  

A special thank you to the members of the Task Force Committee...they have given of their time out of their busy schedules to meet in the evenings to help with the planning and direction for the building project.
 
We are "Setting Sail"  ....I look forward to our adventures. 

Moving forward with the planning of the building project- Building Bond Referendum - Spring of 2016.

date 11/05/2015 author Brian Phillips category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

The Facilities Task Force Steering Committee met on Thursday, October 29th to review the conceptual block plans presented by Brunton Architects.  The committee looked at three proposed concepts for location and layout.  It was our first opportunity to really start the discussion which included: the transition from one building to the next, views and sunlight into certain spaces, parking spaces needed, and access to all the areas.  The committee also looked at the proposed square footage for the different spaces and added a great deal of input for the architects to re-look at.  

The district will continue to move the planning forward and have all the documentation ready to be sent to M.D.E. for their review.  The district is still planning on a Spring vote for the building project.   The scope of the project still needs further refining before being presented to the public for
their input.  It is our goal to begin soon the public unveiling of the plans and what it could mean for the Cleveland District.  

Thank you for the support on the Operating Referendum. The passing of the referendum means a great deal to this school and the communities that it serves.