In 2014, Northwest Local School District established a Master Plan in order to address the aging facilities throughout the District and to provide students with educational spaces that were conducive to learning.
In 2021, the Master Facility Plan was updated by a committee of community leaders, parents, teachers, students and staff to address current needs and assess the learning spaces in each building in order to prepare students for the future.
* CES & CMS were slated for replacement in the 2014 Master Plan. Therefore, there are no maintenance funds assigned.
UNDERSTANDING THE STATE'S ASSESSMENTS OF NWLSD'S BUILDINGS
(See above chart for data)
In 2021, The State of Ohio sent out an assessment of the remaining buildings within the District. They assessed our buildings for two things: renovation v replacement needs and each building’s educational viability standard. This was their determination:
- RENOVATION V. REPLACE: (See chart above)
When the State assesses a school building's renovation cost to be 66% or more of the replacement cost, the State recommends replacing the building with a newly constructed one. If the cost to renovate is under 66%, the State will only pay for renovation cost. The school will have to pay for everything else. Based on the findings, the State recommends replacing the following schools: Colerain Elementary, Colerain Middle, White Oak Middle School, Colerain High School, Houston Early Learning Center, Pleasant Run Middle and Northwest High School.
- EDUCATIONAL VIABILITY STANDARD: (See chart above)
This standard is determined by the State of Ohio. This number determines the measure of the building's ability to offer a sufficient learning environment: Good “natural” conditions such as lighting, air quality, temperature control, acoustics, and links to nature.
UNDERSTANDING NWLSD’S NEED:
In 2019, NWLSD assessed how much it would cost to patch existing buildings in order to keep each building WARM, SAFE AND DRY based on their current condition.
WARM, SAFE & DRY: (See chart above)
- The overall assessment of the cost to fix identified issues in each building in order to keep outside elements like wind and rain out of each building. It includes repairs needed for windows, roofs, building envelopes, parking lots, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.
- These costs would be the start of an ongoing repair cycle, until additional funds are acquired for future renovation or replacement.
NWLSD’S MASTER FACILITY PLAN IS DIVIDED INTO THREE PHASES:
MASTER FACILITY PLAN PHASE 1: COMPLETE
In 2014, Northwest Local School District established a Master Plan in order to address the aging facilities throughout the District and to provide students with educational spaces that were conducive to learning. Through this process, NWLSD completed Phase 1 of the Master Facility Plan in 2018.
MASTER FACILITY PLAN PHASE 2: CURRENT PHASE
In 2021, the Master Facility Plan was updated by a committee of community leaders, parents, teachers, students and staff to address current needs and assess the learning spaces in each building in order to prepare students for the future. The Committee surveyed the community to determine their preference for Master Facility Options. Based on the survey responses, 66 % respondents and 95% of the Community Advisory Team chose “Option C” which includes replacing outdated buildings, combining three middle schools into two middle schools (Phase 2) and addressing the needs of the high schools (Phase 3) (See chart below.) The committee outlined a summary of the Master Facility Plan priorities and set a timeline to address needs of the District:
SUMMARY OF PHASE 2 PRIORITIES:
- Address buildings with greatest need first
- District-wide equity
- Preference for 6-8 middle schools
- Preference for “Clean Feeder” organization
- Preference to minimize student building transitions
- Expanded academic offerings
- Operational efficiency
- Schools that foster relationships
MASTER FACILITY PLAN PHASE 3: NEXT PHASE (TBD)
Based on the feedback from the Master Facility Committee survey, the community was split between wanting to replace both high school and career tech centers and/or wanting to combine both high schools and career centers into one school. Based on the feedback, additional conversations to determine a consensus will need to be facilitated in the near future.
FINANCING THE 2014 MASTER FACILITY PLAN:
NWLSD is committed to making sure that the District is not only a good steward of the funds that we manage, but that the impact of our plans are economical for the community. We want our community to understand that there is no better timing than now to address the needs of NWLSD’s infrastructures.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission is responsible for guiding capital projects for comprehensive K-12 public school construction and renovation projects through a program known as Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP). ELPP is a State program that allows schools to earn credits towards future state funded projects.
- In Phase I, NWLSD earned $16 million in ELPP credits that can be used in a future co-funded phase.
- In Phase 2, NWLSD has the potential of earning an estimated $30 - $40 million in ELPP credits that can also be used in a future co-funded phase.
- In Phase 3, NWLSD will have the opportunity to utilize both the credits earned from Phase 1 ($16 million) and Phase 2, (est. $30-$40 million) to pay towards Phase 3 of the plan. By doing this, the District will minimize the local (community paid) share, by maximizing the available State dollars.
WHY THIS IS THE BEST PLAN FOR NWLSD:
The State of Ohio recommends that NWLSD replace seven buildings and renovate one based on each building’s current condition. The cost to make the recommended changes is $319 million. Like most public schools, NWLSD has a limit on the amount that can be borrowed. Currently NWLSD has a debt limit of $82 million, which would not be enough to achieve the State’s recommended replacements.
As a participant in the State’s ELPP Program, the State would allow NWLSD to sell bonds (borrow) in order to acquire the necessary amount needed to achieve the State’s recommendation. Additionally, by continuing to participate in the State program, NWLSD would earn an estimated total of $50 million in ELPP credits that could be used towards a co-fund phase 3.
If NWLSD were to make the decision to renovate all eight of the buildings, the total amount would be approximately $248 million, which would exceed NWLSD’s $82 million debt limit. Making the decision to renovate all eight buildings would also eliminate NWLSD’s opportunity to participate in the ELPP Program and other State Programs like Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP). Both State programs assist with funding for school facilities allowing schools to borrow based on financial need. Without participating in the ELPP and CFAP programs, the State will only allow NWLSD to borrow a max of $82 million, which would not address CE, CMS and the $40 million of deferred maintenance needed for other existing buildings, leaving NWLSD with 50-100+ year old buildings and no future means of replacement for the next 30 years when Phase 1 bonds roll off.
PHASE 2 - BOND INFORMATION:
In July of 2022, the Board of Education approved Phase 2 of the Master Facility Plan to be placed on the November 8, 2022 ballot as a bond.
- Bond Issue $175,850,000
- Election Date: November 8, 2022
- Term: 38 Years
- Proposed Millage: 4.98
- Estimated Annual Revenue: $8,704,807
- Estimated Annual Cost to Homeowner
$100,000 Market Value - $174.30/yr
$14.53 - month; .48¢ - day
- Monfort Heights Bond: approved 1.15 mills*, rolling off 2022.
- THE REAL FEEL WILL BE UNDER 4 MILLS
*Monfort Heights Bond was approved at 1.15 mills which does not include changes in valuation or homestead and rollback tax credits.
Community members are encouraged to visit the Hamilton County Auditor's Office Website. Click on "Property Search" to access your property information and select "Levy Information" to view the Estimated Annual Tax.
WHAT PHASE 2 WILL PROVIDE:
NWLSD will combine three middle schools into two middle schools for operational efficiency and will provide new/renovated schools for ALL of our PreK-8 students.
- New Colerain Elementary
- New Colerain Middle
- New Pleasant Run Middle
- Monfort Heights Elementary Renovation
- New Houston Early Learning Preschool
- Provides financial opportunity to address High School building needs through earned ELPP credits that will help pay for PHASE 3 of the Master Facility Plan
- Ensure all PreK -8th grade students have access to warm, safe and dry buildings
- Give students access to 21st Century classrooms and learning environments that align with State standards
- Allows the community to save money over time.
- Will create a “Clean Feeder” school district, which will better align students as they transition throughout each level of school
CLEAN FEEDER GRAPHIC
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
For more information about NWLSD’s Master Facility Plan, visit our Master Facility Website: BUILDING OUR FUTURE