Crestwood approves $35 million bond proposal

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — The Crestwood School District Board of Education will ask residents for approval of a $35 million bond to upgrade its district May 3.

The resolution was passed unanimously during the board’s Feb 8 meeting.

If approved by voters, the millage rate will be set at 3.5 mills with the bond financed over 25 years. The estimated cost for each homeowner will be set at a little less than $20 a month.

The district approved the bond to help meet its infrastructure, property and technology needs.

“Our kids and our community deserve the best schools,” Board President Donna Ancinec said. “Crestwood School District has maintained a balanced budget and has not had a tax supported bond in more than 50 years. While interest rates remain at historic lows we want to take this opportunity to invest in our schools, which is also an investment in our home values and our community.”

Of the $35 million, $25 million is expected to be used for upgrades on roofing, windows, doors, flooring, cafeterias, kitchens, mechanical, heating and cooling systems, resurfacing and reconfiguring of student pickup and dropoff areas.
About, $5.4 million will be used for property upgrades such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, pools, locker rooms, restrooms, storage, track and athletic fields and addition of classrooms.

Technology upgrades for classrooms, computers, phone system, security and sound systems will cost about $4.1 million.
The remaining $500,000 will be designated for classroom furniture and equipment for playgrounds as well as music, drama and athletic departments.

The last bond approved for the district was more than 50 years ago and it has been 10 years since the last time residents were asked to vote on a proposal from the district.

Under state law, bond proceeds may not be used to pay administrator, teacher, or staff salaries; routine maintenance costs; or other school district operating expenses.

“Our community and its 3,500 students deserve the best,” Supt. Laurine VanValkenburg said. “Staying ahead of technology is essential for today’s learning environment. This bond will allow us to invest in our buildings, improve safety and security, and maximize our operating budget for in-classroom learning.”

The district has five schools: Kinloch, Hillcrest and Highview elementary schools, Riverside Middle School and Crestwood High School.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)