News
Special Ed and Support sites to total $47.5 million in district long-range facilities plan

By Joseph Back

Covering local elementary schools one week, and middle and high schools the week after, the time has come to review special education and support sites in the long-range facilities plan for South Washington County. How might these factor into the cost of the August 9 bond referendum. How much investment for what in return, and what are the details?

Its to the projected cost, the district is looking at spending a total of $47.5 million on its special education and support sites in the current long-range facilities plan. As to the details, there are many. First up, transportation. After all, without wheels it’s hard

See PLAN Page 6

The District Service Center (DSC) would be renovated under the long-range facilities plan, with the DSC itself moving to a new more central location at a new Crestview Elementary site. Photo by Joseph Back. PLAN

FROM PAGE 1 to get around. What’s the transit picture if the bond referendum passes?

In the first place, the current transportation site would remain. In the second, construction of a satellite transportation space for more bus parking would take place under the plan. The cost of this in the long-range facilities plan as submitted to the state is set at a flat $5 million out of the $47.5 million total for special education and support sites. So what of the District Program Center as a support site?

The building will be sold under the current plan, should the bond referendum pass voter approval this August 9. The sale of the District Program Center (DPC) under the long-range facilities plan would coincide in part with the move of the South Washington County Alternative High School currently housed at the DPC to the site of a new Crestview Elementary, to be more centrally located for Crestview students. The District Service Center (DSC), meanwhile, would be renovated to retain operational facilities like warehouse and storage along with housing Next Step Pathways, while the DSC itself would move to a centrally located office on the Crestview Elementary campus. The projected cost for a new DSC on a new Crestview Elementary site, is projected at $23,388,750 in materials submitted by the district to the state, while the Next Step and Pathways part of the plan is projected at just over $5 million, or $5,151,575 to be exact.

From the DPC and DSC we move to early learning centers, with the plan calling for the Liberty Ridge II site to continue as an early learning center, while Newport Elementary would see a heavy remodel to make for a second early learning center in the district, not classed with special education in the long-range facilities plan but providing support services like early childhood screening after a remodel to cost around $1,683,990. Being classed with “early learning” under the long-range facilities plan, the Newport remodel would not be included with the $47.5 million figure earlier stated.

As to rental spaces under the long-range facilities plan, the plan calls for non renewal of building leases for the Next Step and Pathways programs to be housed at a renovated DSC, while Central Park in Woodbury would be renovated for use by So-WashCo Online, along with adult basic education and special education. No figure is given for this in plans submitted by the district to the state.

Last but not least in the long-range facilities plan would be the purchase of 120 to 160 acres of land “for future use” by the district. With growth projected now and into the future, the purchase of land is projected to cost a flat$14 million under the long-range facilities plan.

Altogether, it makes $47.5 million for special education and support services in the $462.66 million bond referendum total, to be decided by district voters this August 9.

The District Program Center housing South Washington Alternative High School would be sold under the current long-range facilities plan, the Alternative High School moving to the present Crestview campus near Park High School. Photo by Joseph Back

July 27, 2022