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CASTLE ROCK – The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) is hosting a series of events this winter to inform the public about the capital needs of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) and to solicit feedback about meeting them.  The LRPC has been working with District staff to develop and deliver these presentations.

“We are trying to get out and meet with as many people in the community as we can,” explained DCSD Budget Director Scott Smith.

At the request of the Board of Education, LRPC is speaking to School Accountability Committes between now and February. Staff is also presenting to a special Parent University Class on December 3 at American Academy’s Parker campus.

“During the presentation we give an overview of what our capital needs are, as described in the Master Capital Plan. We also talk about some various funding strategies that we have used in the past to meet some of these needs and some potential funding strategies that we may be able to use in the future,” Smith said. “We are really just there to inform, educate and have a dialog with our constituents. Then, we solicit their feedback, so we can collect feedback and provide it to the Board.”

PROVIDE YOUR FEEDBACK

The group is also arranging three public Town Hall forums in January, during which organizations from across the county will be invited.

Smith says many people do not realize the funding challenges DCSD faces and impact of these capital needs. 

“We are one of the lowest funded districts on the Front Range. We talk about why that is the case and how that works through the school funding formula. Often, people don’t realize that like all districts, we are only funded for operating needs, which largely go to salaries and benefits. The Colorado School Finance Act does not provide funding for capital needs,” Smith explained.
 

 

DCSD Funding Facts
General Fund

  • State and local funded, via School Finance Act forumla
  • Provides per-pupil funding that covers costs to educate students, including teacher salaries, school materials. Does not cover capital expenses
  • DCSD among the lowest funded Front Range school districts

Mill Levy Override

  • Must be approved by local taxpayers
  • All monies raised locally, stays local
  • Used for District’s operating needs above and beyond those met through the School Finance Act
  • Douglas County has passed four mill levy override elections previously

Bonds

  • Must be approved by local taxpayers
  • All monies raised locally, stays local
  • By statute, can only be used for capital needs
  • Last passed a bond in 2006. All of those funds were exhausted at the end of June 2013
     

“We have no dedicated funding right now to do capital work,” explained DCSD Director of Planning and Construction Rich Cosgrove.  “We have been meeting some of our most urgent capital needs out of our operating dollars and out of some of our other funding strategies that we talk about in the presentation.”

It is important to note that all DCSD schools are 100 percent code compliant and safe, but the need is not subsiding.

“If you look at the Master Capital Plan there are $25 million in issues that could interrupt the educational program. If a boiler goes down in the winter, if a chiller goes down in the summer, if we have a major roof failure, it will impact our students” Cosgrove said.

More funding will be needed as our buildings age. Many are nearing the 15-year-mark when maintenance needs generally increase.

“If you think about the development of our District, we have had periods where there was a lot of development. We built a lot of new schools simultaneously.  The issue with that is that they all need capital renewal almost simultaneously,” Cosgrove said. “Our capital needs grow by about $25-35 million every year, as those newer schools start getting older and they start crossing that line into the 15 years of age.”

Additionally, current funding does not address future needs. Current forecasts predict the District will double in size by 2040 with 118,000 students.

“We want the public’s feedback on how to do this,” Smith said. “There are multiple ways that we can address these issues. There are pros and cons with all of those ways. We want to make sure that we provide the opportunity and really gather that feedback.”

“That is what the presentation is really about,” Cosgrove added. “It is to get out, inform, educate and then listen. We will take notes and provide that feedback back to the Board."

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Outreach Resources

Deadline to provide feedback was Friday, March 6, 2015
Feedback is now being prepared for presentation to the Douglas County School District Board of Education.
 

Outreach light presentation (PDF)
Outreach full presentation (PDF)

Master Capital Plan Video

Master Capital Plan 2014-2015

Learn More at Forums

Thank you to the many DCSD stakeholders who participated in the regional forums held in January and February. These meetings were organized to inform the public about the capital needs of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) and to solicit feedback about meeting them.

  

Thursday January 8
Rocky Heights Middle School at 5 p.m.

Tuesday, January 13
Castle Rock Middle School at 5 p.m.

Thursday, January 15
Sagewood Middle School at 5 p.m.
Highlands Ranch High School at 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 22
Cimarron Middle School at 5 p.m.
Castle View High School at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 27
Sierra Middle School at 5 p.m.

Thursday, January 29
Mesa Middle School at 5 p.m.
Legend High School at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, February 3
Ranch View Middle School at 5 p.m.

Thursday, February 5
Cresthill Middle School at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, February 11
Mountain Ridge Middle School at 5 p.m.

 

PRINT & SHARE: Master Capital Plan Town Hall Brochure

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