Superintendent’s Corner…“The Capital Referendum failed. Now what?”

Shannon Murray.

Superintendent’s Corner…

In April, MAPS went to the voters with a plan to move several operations (Head Start, Bridges Virtual School, and the Northern Achievement Center) into the vacant Jefferson Elementary Building, as well as move the Central Office operations into the high school and replace the current maintenance building. This plan, intended to make the best use of our best buildings, would streamline operations and take as many as five of our worst buildings off line, thereby saving us money. Unfortunately, the referendum attached to this plan, as you likely know, was voted down at the polls.
The question then becomes – now what? An old football coach of mine used to say, “If Plan B was any good, it would be Plan A.” Well, with Plan A failing, it’s on to Plan B.
Plan B is essentially a math problem that we have been working on this spring and will continue working on throughout the summer. On one side of the equation, is to proceed with the original plan to move those programs into Jefferson Elementary using current operation budgeted funds and to make that transition over several years. The challenge here, of course, is that while this is still the most logical and thoughtful long-term solution, budgets are tight and the money spent to make those moves happen will come at the expense of other budgeted areas.
On the other side of the equation, is to simply sell the Jefferson Elementary building and property. We have been meeting with interested parties and will continue to do that over the next few weeks to establish a fair value for that building and property. Once that is determined, the question becomes “is it more practical to spend a certain amount of money, over time, to move programs into Jefferson and take our worst buildings off line, or are we better off simply selling Jefferson outright for a certain amount of money?” Again, it’s basically a math question at that point.
This issue will continue to be studied over the next few weeks or months and will ultimately lead to a recommendation to our Board of Education. One thing remains certain, however – we want to make sure that we continue to make wise fiscal decisions on behalf of our community in this era of tight budgets and limited resources while doing what’s in the best interest of our students.

Shannon Murray

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