Lobby Efforts Supporting Riverside Local School District
Our Kids. Our Schools. Our Community.
Our Kids. Our Schools. Our Community.
The Road to MAY 3, 2022
The Riverside Local Schools Board of Education voted to place a 5.37-mill Bond Levy (Issue 1) on the May 3 ballot during its January 27, 2022 Board of Education meeting.
If the bond levy is approved by voters, the District will construct a new 6-12 complex on the current Riverside Campus property. The 6-12 complex would consist of a 6-8 Middle School and a 9-12 High School. The 2 schools would incorporate shared spaces (such as kitchen and auditorium space). Shared space would allow for operational efficiency while still allowing the schools to have dedicated and separate educational spaces.
Preliminary estimates indicate the new Campus would be ready to open to staff and students by August of 2026.
The proposed bond levy is a result of the planning and work done by a District Facilities Committee - formed in early 2015. This committee consisted of community members, parents, board members, administrators and staff. Their purpose: To assess aging infrastructure and come up with a long-term and long-range plan for overall improvement. The committee spent a full year investigating and analyzing data from a variety of sources before making their recommendations to the Board of Education.
The committee's initial work relied heavily on data provided by The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). The OFCC provides infrastructure analysis free of charge to Ohio school districts (and other governmental units) upon request. The analysis includes in-depth review of all structural and mechanical systems, space, enrollment, available acreage, and expected community growth over time. As part of the final analysis, the assessment compares repair and renovation cost to replacement cost of existing spaces. The OFCC will update the cost data for any completed assessment upon request or with the filing of an updated Master Plan.
Riverside Local School District requested an OFCC review initially in 2008 and again in 2013. The OFCC recommendation in both 2008 and 2013 was to replace all of the school buildings in the District due to poor conditions and infrastructure, with the exception of LaMuth Middle School. The district cost data associated with those formal reviews was then updated with BOE approved OFCC Master Plan Updates in June 2016, September 2019 and October 2021.
After a full year of study and analysis, the District Facilities Committee made their recommendation to the Board of Education with the presentation of a 3-Phase Facility Plan.
The 3 Phases (in order) were as follows:
Phase 1: Construct 2 new elementary schools to replace 4 aging elementary facilities.
Phase 2: Construct a new middle-school / high-school complex.
Phase 2 would allow grades 6-8 and grades 9-12 to be housed independently.
Phase 3: Repurpose LaMuth Middle School as an elementary building.
This would allow the remaining 2 elementary schools to either close, be repurposed, or
perhaps be refurbished and continued in use depending on enrollment at that time.
The recommended plan called for the district to participate in the OFCC's "Expedited Local Partnership Plan" which would credit the district for construction initiatives and provide for rebate funding based on a state-calculated formula that takes into account the overall state assessed district wealth. RLSD rebates are calculated at 10% of OFCC approved construction plans to align with the approved Master Plan. Those rebates - when eventually credited back to the district based on the overall 3-Phase Plan, would allow the district to use those funds towards the construction and renovation set forth in Phase 3 of the overall plan.
The 3-Phase Plan was presented to the Board of Education in February 2016, and the Board approved the committee's recommendations and accepted the plan.
With this acceptance, the Planning Phase was complete and the Board agreed to move forward and begin formal work on the next step in the process - Implementation.
Efforts to implement Phase I began in earnest in March of 2016. Those efforts culminated in November of 2016 when the Riverside community passed a 1.92-mill bond levy that raised $38.5 million. Those funds were used to construct two new elementary schools. Upon completion of those new buildings, four aging elementary schools - with a combined age of 346 years - were closed.
Parkside Elementary was built at 12428 Concord Hambden Road in Concord Township. Riverview Elementary was built on the site of Madison Avenue Elementary - which was subsequently torn down with the completion of Riverview.
Hadden Elementary, Hale Road Elementary and Leroy Elementary have since been sold to various entities for a combined $660,000 in addition to saving the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in demolition cost.
Both Parkside Elementary and Riverview Elementary opened their doors in September of 2019.
In 2019 the district then directed their attention to the next phase in the implementation of the long-range Facility Plan - Phase 2 - The Middle School / High School Complex.
The scope of Phase 2 is significantly larger than Phase 1. Plans for the middle-school / high school complex include additional square footage for new programs, increased safety and security capability, increased access to technology needed to keep students current with real-world industry standards, and dedicated spaces for career tech, creative arts, lab sciences, and other collaborative spaced designed for educational flexibility. Space for staff to work, collaborate and participate in professional development is also included.
If approved, the Bond Levy for Phase II would cost tax payers $15.66 per month per $100,000 valuation.
Funds from a Bond Levy cannot be used for salaries or operational costs.
Please see the FAQ page for additional information based on questions from the community regarding the Phase 2 project.