FWCS moves forward with $119 million project - December 13, 2011

Record Number: 8308
Displayed from: Dec 13, 2011 , until: Jan 31, 2012

Following a public hearing on a proposed $119 million facility improvement project, the Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees voted Monday, Dec. 12, to move forward with the plans to address infrastructure and safety needs at 36 buildings. The project is designed to provide major infrastructure improvements at 10 school buildings with 26 additional buildings receiving work such as new roofs and window replacements. This is expected to be the first phase of a long-range facility plan with construction taking place between 2013 and 2016. Later phases would run from 2017-2022 and address additional buildings. The majority of the project $100 million will address major infrastructure needs, including heating and ventilating systems, window systems, safety issues and more at 10 schools: Bloomingdale, Croninger, Haley, Harris, Harrison Hill, Irwin and Weisser Park elementary schools, Jefferson and Memorial middle schools and Snider High School. An additional $7 million will cover the cost of catching up on roof projects at 28 buildings, and nearly $8 million will be used to catch up on window replacement and masonry repair at eight buildings. About $4 million will be used to install cooling units to six buildings where the air handling systems are already designed to accommodate air conditioning. With the Board's approval on Monday, the district now will gather 100 signatures to ensure the project will appear on the May 8 ballot as a referendum question. Having the question appear on the ballot allows the community to decide on the project and places the debt repayment outside of the property tax caps. Petitions will be available to sign from 3:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Fort Wayne Education Association office, 229 W. Berry St. Qualified signors are those who own property or are registered voters within the FWCS boundaries. If the referendum is approved in May, the cost for the average homeowner (median home market value of $89,600) would be $27 per year. To see a copy of the presentation given to Board members on Monday, visit www.fortwayneschools.org and click on Strong Schools, Strong Community.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.