It’s an exciting time for Building Tiger Nation!
by Loveland City School District Superintendent Dr. Amy Crouse
Over the past year, the Loveland City School District has intensified its work in developing a facility master plan. The last full assessment of school buildings took place in 1998 – more than two decades ago. While we’ve diligently maintained and cared for our buildings, a thorough review of the facilities had to be put off for years as we weathered the economy. In the meantime, 21st century thinking around education has funneled dramatic changes and advancements in both building security and the use of educational spaces. A facility master plan for Loveland will allow us to address the repairs, renovations, additions and upgrades the school buildings need to accommodate our growing population of students and the kind of education they deserve.
Since the start of the 2018-19 school year, hundreds of dedicated community members have joined us in meetings with staff, students and architects to provide input into the facility master plan. In addition to the daily work led by the Building Tiger Nation Steering Committee, we’ve spent more than 50 hours engaging directly with our stakeholders: we have tapped the knowledge of focus groups to understand the needs in areas like STEM, athletics and fine arts, and we have involved community members in open finance committee discussions. We’ve learned about your priorities for the student experience and how our Tigers should be prepared to enter college and career after high school. You spoke and we listened! We have intentionally sought and systematically gathered your feedback to supplement the architect’s assessment data, which will help inform the Loveland Board of Education’s decision on a master plan in mid-April.
Over the past couple of months, the board has closely studied the master plan options in order to come to a decision that will meet the needs of our students, but also take into account cost, length and phasing of construction/renovation projects, and your priorities. The “renewal index” – the cost of upkeep and repairs of facilities over time compared to building new – is high for several buildings in the district, and replacing them would be more cost effective. Because the land where the buildings currently reside doesn’t meet state-recommended acreage for a campus, the board has entered into a contract for the option to purchase 110 acres of land for new construction. The availability of land within the district boundaries is extremely limited and securing the option to purchase is imperative in planning for the future of Loveland Schools.
After the board approves a master plan, it will consider a resolution to go on the ballot in November. If a bond issue is approved by voters – along with an operating levy that is necessary to keep our programs running – architects will embark on a year-long design process with the aim of starting construction and renovations in 2021. As we dot the i’s and cross the t’s in this important process, we are immensely grateful for the community’s involvement and commitment to the opportunities we are creating for our students!
In service to our Tigers.