At the July 9th board meeting, Superintendent Mike Raso proposed a consolidation of Thomas Jefferson Elementary with the new Mark Twain Elementary and to sell the Thomas Jefferson Elementary property. He also recommended that the board place a discussion item and action item on the agenda for the Augusts 6th Committee of the Whole meeting.
The district has recently completed its facilities plan meetings at each of the district’s schools. These meetings were informational and held for discussing future facility projects and all school improvements funded by SAVE (one-cent sales tax), PPEL (Physical Plant & Equipment Levy) and potentially a general obligation bond referendum. During a discussion about the facilities plan meetings, Superintendent Raso noted that the district is at a point where district-wide financial decisions need to be made. He pointed out that total district enrollment has remained stable with increases in enrollment occurring at the secondary schools and declining enrollment at the primary schools, grades K-2.
Thomas Jefferson is a one-section building, built in 1949 and it requires $1.4 million in identified facility infrastructure improvements that are priorities. A large portion of the cost would be for a new roof scheduled for next summer. The district has had prior discussions about the potential closure of Thomas Jefferson Elementary and merging it with the new Mark Twain Elementary, resulting in a projected savings of $500K annually.
Superintendent Raso is recommending the board consider the closure of Thomas Jefferson and have the students attend the new Mark Twain Elementary, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.