Westlake Schools/City Study Land Swap

Green Space Next to Porter Library is Possible PK-4 School Site

Westlake City Schools are going to the polls this November to ask for a bond issue that will build a consolidated Grades PK-4 school and campus.Westlake Schools logo

In a news release, the school district says, “The 1.3-mill bond issue and 0.8-mill permanent improvement levy will fund a new, centrally located PK-4 elementary school to replace the district’s four aging elementary schools. It will also create a separate maintenance fund for capital expenses to help protect the public’s investment in the facilities.”

But where will the proposed new school be located?

Under a possible agreement between Westlake Schools and the City of Westlake, the proposed PK-4 elementary school could be located on tract of 30 acres of vacant land along Center Ridge Road next to Porter Public Library now owned by the city.

Once proposed for a K-Mart Plaza that was never built, the city has owned the tract for many years.

The land could be transferred to the schools in an agreement that will see the City of Westlake receive the Parkside School parcel in exchange. Westlake-City-Logo_FEAT

The swap is part of an ordinance now before Westlake City Council that calls for the city to purchase 42 acres of vacant school-owned land situated on Bradley Road. The land was acquired by the school district years ago as a possible middle school site. The new agreement calls for this land to be sold to the city for $1.5 million. The proposal is on first reading and will probably go on second reading Thursday.

In the exchange agreement cited in the Bradley Road land sale, the city and schools will trade the Parkside and Center Ridge Road properties.

Westlake Bond Issue Nov. 8

News Release: Westlake Schools’ November Ballot Issue Won’t Raise Taxes

It’s official. Westlake City School District will be on the ballot on Nov. 8 with a bond issue and permanent improvement levy that won’t raise taxes.

The 1.3-mill bond issue and 0.8-mill permanent improvement levy will fund a new, centrally located PK-4 elementary school to replace the district’s four aging elementary schools. It will also create a separate maintenance fund for capital expenses to help protect the public’s investment in the facilities.

Refinancing and sound financial practices have resulted in the expiration of some of the district’s current debt. This unique scenario allows the district to pursue a 2.1-mill combined issue to complete the final phase of its building plan, and not raise taxes.

After years of study, a citizens committee concluded that it was no longer fiscally prudent to renovate or retrofit the deteriorating elementary facilities. The facilities are all 49 to 67 years old, and have antiquated boilers, failing electrical systems that cannot handle modern technology needs, and inefficient and crumbling windows, doors and brick exteriors. The buildings also lack modern safety and security mechanisms.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to ensure all of Westlake’s students are in modern spaces equipped to meet today’s educational standards,” says Board President Carol Winter. “We heard the community loud and clear, and we as a Board committed ourselves to balancing district needs while not raising taxes.”

The combined issue will also allow the district to free up operating dollars. One building will be less expensive to operate, and instead of funds going to Band-Aid repairs on the deteriorating elementary school facilities, funds can be directed toward students in the classroom.

“This combined issue is good educationally and financially. One building will strengthen education by ensuring that all Westlake elementary students receive the same curriculum. Teachers will be able to better coordinate and collaborate, and students will now have access to support services every day,” says Superintendent Scott Goggin. “It moves our district forward, saves money and won’t raise taxes.”

Comments

comments