School District of Belleville Post-Referendum Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions are compiled to help community members understand the process from beginning to end of the School District of Belleville's building projects and to answer common questions related to the building process.
Q: What work will be done now that the referendum has passed?
A: The building project plan will upgrade current Intermediate School classrooms and other learning spaces to better support teaching and learning, create secure building entrances at both the current Intermediate School and Middle/High Schools, add security cameras; upgrade fire alarms; add separate bus and parent drop-off and pick-up areas to increase safety at the current Intermediate School; address necessary plumbing, roofing, electrical, heating, and ventilation needs; and increase long-term efficiency by consolidating school buildings.
Q: How long will the building process take?
A: The proposed timeline for the building project began after a passing referendum vote in November of 2016. From start to end, the project is hoped to be completed by the end of 2018. However, the timeline is subject to change and includes a Planning Phase, Design Phase and Construction Phase.
Q: When will the Elementary School be closed?
A: The District intends to close and seek to sell the existing Elementary School after students move into the renovated Intermediate School. The Board of Education will discuss viable options throughout the building project.
Q: How are the District-wide needs being addressed in these building projects?
A: LEARNING SPACES: Upgrades to better support teaching and learning
- Addition including classrooms and cafeteria at the Intermediate School
- Learning space enhancements including flooring, lighting, cabinetry, and a larger library at the Intermediate School
- Dedicated spaces for special services at the Intermediate School
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) expansion at the Middle/High School
- Fitness/Weight room expansion at the Middle/High School
SAFETY & SECURITY: Secure entrances, separation of bus and parent drop off/pick up, security cameras, and fire alarms
- Site improvements to separate bus and parent drop-off/pick-up areas at the Intermediate School
- Minor renovation to accommodate secure entrance at the Middle/High School
- Site and safety improvements at the Middle/High School
INFRASTRUCTURE & BUILDING SYSTEMS: Plumbing, HVAC, electrical, technology wiring, roofing, and windows/doors
- Highest priority infrastructure upgrades including plumbing, HVAC, electrical, technology wiring, roofs, and windows/doors
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades including a lift and door hardware at the Intermediate School
- Highest priority infrastructure upgrades including roof and lighting at the Middle/High School
- ADA upgrades including a lift and door hardware at the Middle/High School
BUILDING CONSOLIDATION: Long-term efficiency, grade reconfiguration, and avoidance of deferred maintenance at elementary school
- Close and seek to sell the Elementary School
- Move Early Childhood - 1st grade to Intermediate School
- Change grade configuration from 2nd - 6th grade to Early Childhood - 6th grade
Q: How are design decisions made and who makes them?
A: There are three different committees, Steering Committee, Elementary/Intermediate Building Committeeand Middle/High School Building Committee that make recommendations to the Board of Education. The Board makes final approvals for building project decisions. Each of the three committees meets regularly to discuss options. Community Chats will also be held throughout the process to provide feedback from the community, as well as other community and student engagement opportunities.
Q: What is the tax impact?
A: The cost of the approved referendum will not exceed $20.75 million and thus will have an estimated tax levy increase of $.99 for every $1,000 of property value.
Q: What if the project is more expensive than anticipated?
A: The total amount that can be borrowed for the project is $20.75 million. This is a "do not exceed" number. The Board and its architects and construction firm have done a tremendous amount of work to anticipate all possible needs so that the work can be done at or under $20.75 million. If there is money left over, the Board has said that it will address other high priority items that are not currently a part of the project list.
Q: Where can I get more information about the referendum?
A: More information about the referendum, including the work of the Ad Hoc Educational and Facilities Planning Committee and the Referendum Process, can be found on the district's website.