School Improvement Bond 2014-2020
As the 2014 voter-approved school improvement bond comes to a close summer 2020, KGUN9 reports on the completion of major capital improvements.
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, voters in the Marana district approved Proposition 417:
Issuance and sale of $125,000,000 school improvement bonds.
Proceeds Arrive Through Sale of Bonds
In an effort to minimize the impact on the tax rate, the District issued and sold school improvement bonds in separate sales, one per year, over five years.
Phase I: In March 2015, the District received proceeds from the sale of $25 Million in bonds.
Phase II: In May 2016, the District received proceeds from the sale of $30 Million in bonds.
Phase III: In July 2017, the District received proceeds from the sale of $25 Million in bonds.
Phase IV: In June 2018, the District received proceeds from the sale of $25 Million in bonds.
Phase V: In October 2019, the District received proceeds from the sale of $20 Million in bonds.
Completed Capital Improvements:
- Designed, constructed, and opened Gladden Farms Elementary School, a Code To The Future Computer Science Immersion School, fall 2016, serving preK-6. Opened to expand the capacity of the District, relieving enrollment pressures on other schools.
- Constructed/renovated and opened Picture Rocks Elementary School K-6 school in Picture Rocks community, fall 2016.
- Designed, constructed, and opened a new CSTEM K-8 school in the Dove Mountain area to expand the capacity of the District and provide additional academic choice.
- Expanded Twin Peaks elementary to K-8 to provide additional academic choice.
- Expanded MCAT High School to 10th – 12th grades and add more Career Technical programs.
- Purchased classroom technology to ensure students and teachers have a 21st-century learning environment that inspires them to achieve academic and personal excellence. Through the Engage project, all students and teachers have access to assigned mobile devices providing a 1:1 learning environment.
- Purchased new classroom furniture. Through the Engage project, all students and teachers have access to new collaborative and configurable classroom furniture providing a modern learning environment that supports instruction in the classroom.
- Designed, constructed, and opened a new MUSD Technology Center, spring 2018, to enhance infrastructure and service delivery to all District schools. The Center provides learning space for educator professional development.
- Purchased 21CNG school buses, 10 Special Needs busses, and 7 conventional buses for student transportation
- Installed digital marquees at each school to enhance communication with parents and community.
- Design and construct a state-of-the-art new Transportation Center to enhance service delivery District-wide through new bus areas, garages, dispatch center, and training rooms - Completion fall 2020.
- Provide campus-specific improvements to provide children with safe, modern learning environments.
Capital Improvement Plan:
- New School & Facility Construction $67.6 million
- Construct two new (elementary and/or k-8) schools within the area of greatest need in the community. New facilities will expand the capacity of the district, relieving enrollment pressures on other district schools.
- Replace existing modular school structure with permanent brick and mortar building, based on instructional need.
- Construct a state-of-the-art performing arts center, which would be available for use by district schools and community. The center would be built on the site of the future high school and would serve as the future high school’s auditorium. The performing arts center would only be built if supplemental funds are obtained.
- Construct a new student Transportation, Maintenance & Operation facility in a centralized location as possible. The relocation and upgrade of the facility to a centralized location will create efficiency and enhance service delivery by decreasing mileage, operating costs, and time.
- School & Athletic Facility Renovations & Improvements $34.1 million
- Provide campus-specific improvements to provide children with safe, modern learning environments including but not limited to purchase of classroom furniture and fixtures, installation of shade structures, and improvements to student pickup/drop off areas, school grounds, and restroom facilities.
- Improve heating/cooling systems.
- Purchase cafeteria kitchen ovens to increase student choice and operational efficiency.
- Replace facilities and maintenance equipment and vehicles that are past their useful life.
- Renovate high school athletic stadiums to ensure compliance with Americans with Disability Act.
- Instructional Technology Systems $12 million
- Purchase instructional technology for use by students and teachers and upgrade network infrastructure to enhance the educational environment district-wide.
- Student Transportation Vehicles $11.3 million
- Purchase air-conditioned, fuel-efficient school buses to respond to growth in District and to replace buses and vans in the fleet that are past their useful life. This purchase will provide safe transportation in a growing district while decreasing the rising costs of current repairs and enhancing efficiency through the use of compressed natural gas. The District currently has 132 buses - purchased between 1994-2014. The District has replaced 84 buses over the past four years.
In 2014 a community-driven Capital Improvement Plan Committee was charged with examining current and future projects for the District, and analyzing capital project costs to ensure students have a 21st century learning environment that inspires them to achieve academic and personal excellence.
The committee determined, based on community survey data – focus groups – interviews – review of current State funding formulas – student enrollment projections, the Marana Unified School District was unable to meet future facility and related capital projects without obtaining additional financial resources.
Review of State capital funding formulas showed that State funding for school improvements and building construction had decreased since 2008. The State had eliminated building renewal funds and soft capital. This loss, of approximately $4,700,000 per year, was intended to fund capital expenditures including preventive maintenance projects, transportation and equipment, instructional technology, and other items used by students and teachers in the classroom. In addition, a change to the new school construction funding formula eliminated this funding source for the District.
Based on the community committee review and the lack of funding from the State, the Marana Unified School District Governing Board called the special bond election to provide funding for school and athletic facility renovations and improvements, new school construction, instructional technology and student transportation not currently funded by the State. A bond election is a mechanism to obtain funding for these capital improvements.
On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, voters in the Marana Unified School District approved Proposition 417: Issuance and sale of $125,000,000 school improvement bonds with a 61% approval.