PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
FOR OUR DISTRICT
Our proposed plan will allow the District to:
- Increase and expand instructional spaces
– New Industrial Tech classrooms and labs
– New Agriculture classrooms and labs
– New Science classrooms and labs
- Create fully accessible (ADA compliant) facilities
- Expand security at Elementary & Middle/High Schools
- Add a competitive-sized gym with new locker rooms
– Allows us to host district and regional events
FOR OUR COMMUNITIES
- School facilities are vital tools in retaining and attracting new families to town.
- Creating a partnership with our communities to focus on future impact and economic development.
- Improvements to our Agriculture/Industrial Technology program will benefit area businesses that are in need of trades-trained workers, benefiting our local economy and retaining young families in our communities.
FOR OUR FUTURE
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
If the bond referendum passes, the overall school tax levy increases by a maximum of $2.70 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. Keep in mind that with property tax calculations, you are never working with the market value of the property – only the assessed value.
The examples below are for residential property. Please use the calculator to the right to see what your impact would be.
You can find additional information, including Commercial and Agricultural Property rates here: TaxImpact-2018
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
How did the Board decide?
How many rooms are needed or will be added in this project?
The Citizens’ Committee identified the Science room as the classroom that needed to be improved at the MS/HS building The new Science area would provide space for a classroom and space for a lab. The Ag and Industrial Arts classes will also take advantage of this lab space.
The current Ag and Industrial Tech classrooms are in the metal building behind the school. This causes the back door and the door to the Ag and Industrial Tech building to be open all day to allow students into the buildings. The new facility would also take over this area and the building would need to be removed.
The administrative offices would be relocated in the new facility to make a secure entry into the building. All students, parents, and visitors to the building would need to enter through the office. The gym would also be a new space. New locker rooms and a commons area are also included in the new facility. The commons area will provide a large open space for students to use for small groups, large groups and breakout sessions, along with space for Professional Development. The new facility would put all of the school under one roof and with one entrance.
At Terril the Citizens’ Committee didn’t identify any classrooms, but they did identify the location of the office on the 2nd floor and the need to have an open door to the building. The plan is to build an administrative office area that would require all students, parents and visitors to enter through the office. This would also make the office handicapped accessible.The restrooms in the lobby area would also be renovated.
The Terril building has had several remodels over the years. In 2006, the 1st and 2nd floor restrooms were remodeled. The Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms were remodeled in 2011. In the summer of 2017, over $114,000 was used for the building to be completely tuckpointed and gutters repaired. Also the kitchen area has gotten a new ceiling, new windows, and the cooler has been repaired.
The new building has been remodeled and renovated to serve as the Board Room, Art Room and bus barn. A new garage door was added and new cement for the drive. The back of the school has been updated with a new system to handle the water and to get it away
from the building using the existing tile.
Why do this project now?
This specific bond project process started almost 1.5 years ago. This project started as a committee of citizens who were invited from both the Terril and Graettinger communities. This Citizens’ committee identified the most pressing needs for our district in both the elementary and MS/HS buildings. Following this identification, the board moved forward in the process, securing CMBA Architects to help guide us through the process.
From what we have found, the last bond election was in 1976 for Graettinger and either the late 50’s or early 60’s for Terril. We have been financially responsible and able to make the improvements and renovations using the Physical Plant and Equipment (PPEL) levy or grants. The needs identified, and the cost to meet those needs, is the reason for the proposed bond election.
What about security at both buildings?
We do have teachers that work after hours and on weekends that need to have access to the building.
Kid's need classrooms and security, but is all this space really warranted?
We believe the needs are being addressed, without being extravagant, in the design of the facility. To answer this question you would have to speak individually with each person on their values of security, health and wellness, science, agriculture, industrial technology, and athletics. Each of us value different things when it comes to our children’s education. The areas identified were the areas of most concern to those on the Citizens’ Committee.
Are we adding all this room for future growth?
We have seen a slight enrollment increase over the past few years. Last year (2016-2017) we had an increase of 21 students.
Will this keep the Terril building open?
Both the Terril building and the Graettinger building are being fully utilized at capacity, with no open classrooms. The Terril building has been well cared for and we will continue to make the repairs and improvements that will benefit our students.
The new space includes: a new Science room and lab, new Agriculture classroom and new Industrial Tech space. The Ag and Industrial Tech will be replacement space after the metal building is removed, not new space. The current office space at the MS/HS building will be available for use. None of this would be even close to the amount of space required for our PK-5th grade students and programs.
The district has done a great job updating and remodeling both buildings to make them the most effective and efficient facilities possible.
The Terril building is currently educating more students than it did in the years before Terril began Whole Grade Sharing with Graettinger in 2006. This project will not affect the grade alignment in our buildings. All current grades will stay in Terril.
Why so much for a new Gym?
If you have been to any of the Twin Lakes Conference schools that we compete against they all have regulation size gyms and have a home court to play their games. Our girls earned the right to host the first two rounds of the district tournament, but because we don’t have
a regulation size gym we ended up playing Harris/Lake Park at Lake Park and playing Storm Lake-St. Mary’s at Storm Lake-St. Mary’s.
The gym that is being proposed is the same size as the new gym at Newell-Fonda CSD. It will have 8 bleachers on both sides, will seat approximately 1,000 spectators and have a regulation sized floor. Newell-Fonda CSD is a school in the Twin Lakes Conference that is very similar in size to Graettinger-Terril CSD. GT/RA boys played the first two rounds of district basketball at Newell-Fonda this year.
What is Ruthven-Ayrshire's role in the bond election?
Academic Sharing is for grades 9-12 and for ½ of the school day. Graettinger-Terril receives approximately $110,000 a year for tuition from Ruthven-Ayrshire. Academic Sharing is billed 2 times a year and is paid promptly 2 times a year. Athletic Sharing is reviewed several times a year by the Joint Board Committee and is billed out and paid promptly in June.
What happens if there are no sharing agreements with Ruthven-Ayrshire CSD?
The students are in favor of these arrangements and were the major reason Ruthven-Ayrshire selected Graettinger-Terril to partner with in the beginning of this sharing. You see the kids in the hallways and you can’t see GT or RA, you only see GT/RA Titans. We have great kids!
Why not Whole Grade Share?
Currently, if Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven-Ayrshire would whole grade share or merge, we both would lose over $140,000 dollars in Operational Sharing per year and would lose an ongoing funding stream funded by supplemental weighting from the state. Whole grade sharing has deadlines and drops the financial benefits after 3-5 years. What we are currently doing with academic sharing can continue as long as the state provides supplemental weighting.
Bottom line is that it makes the most sense financially to continue with our sharing agreements that have been, and we believe will be, a benefit to both districts for the long term. Currently Graettinger-Terril nets over $300,000 in tuition, from sharing staff and athletic sharing; Ruthven-Ayrshire nets over $45,000 from supplemental weighting, sharing staff and athletic sharing. This continues for as long as we share. The majority of these funds would end if we would Whole Grade Share. This is what makes our agreements work for both districts.
Haven't Sharing Agreements failed in the past?
The districts share much more than just the RA High School students and all students for athletics. The sharing of students is a two-way street with several Graettinger-Terril students taking advantage of a Composition 1 and Composition 2 course offer at Ruthven-Ayrshire before school. This class is offered for dual enrollment and is offered to the GT students at no cost to the student or
All Professional Development is a shared activity between the districts. The Teacher Leadership and Compensation program is shared between the two districts. GT/RA TLC is one of six schools in the state being recognized for our TLC Program and the improvements that have been shown by our students. When possible, staff and administration is shared between the two districts. This has allowed both districts to add additional courses and share the cost of the teacher. Both districts use the AEA Finance Team to handle all our financial needs. This provides consistency and accuracy to the financials and for the sharing agreements.
COUNTDOWN TO VOTE!
Tuesday, April 3rd
Graettinger Public Library
Terril Memorial Building
7 AM – 8 PM
Monday, March 5
Monday, March 19
You will have an opportunity to speak specifically with the accountants, architects and administration for more direct questions.