During the WCS Board of Education meeting Nov. 16, the board unanimously approved a five-year plan for funding requests through 2026. The 2020-26 plan includes $429.35 million in future funding requests for projects that will be completed from fall 2021 to fall 2027.
“Every year, we present to the county commission our five-year projection of what we believe we need to do to address growth. It includes new building construction, building expansions, buses, maintenance—those big-cost items—as we grow,” WCS Superintendent Jason Golden said.
The bulk of the plan include $305 million in funding for new schools to add capacity for additional students throughout the district. Future projects include six new elementary schools, three middle schools and a new high school, according to the project plan. Additions and renovation for existing schools are also included in the plan and are expected to cost roughly $78 million.
Projects to be funded this school year include additions to Summit and Ravenwood high schools, which will add 22 classrooms and an expansion of the cafeteria at each school. Those projects are slated to be complete in fall 2022.
The plan also includes funding for replacement school buses and upgrade for existing facilities, such as new heating and cooling systems and new roofs.
However, while the district has planned for what they will need over the new five years, funding has not yet been approved. The district will request funding from the county over the next five years as part of its annual budget process.
“This is a requirement of the county commission annually: to assist them in the structure that they have to initiate their bonds to help them with bond ratings. So for years, we’ve been doing this, but for us, we have made it much more for our planning purposes,” Golden said. “The county commission—when they get to it, they say, 'This is not an approval of the projects.' It’s an acknowledgement that this is our plan, that will we ask, at some point, for these funds.”
Take a look at the funding breakdown below.
Schools: $305 million
6 new elementary schools
3 middle schools
1 high school
Additions and renovations: $77.9 million
Additions for Fairview, Nolensville, Centennial and Ravenswood High Schools
New synthetic turf for Ravenwood, Centennial, Fairview, Summit and Independent high schools
Transportation building addition
Hillsboro School renovation
Renovations for Bethesda Elementary School, Grassland Middle School and Page High School
Major projects: $35.5 million
Roof, asphalt and heating and cooling upgrades
Transportation: $10.9 million
Replacements for school buses
Grand total: $429.3 million