Rockwood School District Voters:
For more than 10 years, my family has been part of the Rockwood School District, and I have been involved in many of the district's efforts. Most recently, I was asked to head up the 2013 Prop S Bond Issue Committee, and of course, I said yes, to further show my support of the district and this initiative.
I know how important this bond issue is to district families. Our community needs to pass a bond issue to make improvements to the schools. While funding remains a concern for many school districts, this bond issue will assist in providing safety, technology and facility improvements, which will continue to assist Rockwood School District in being a premiere school district.
We, as members of the Prop S committee, toured the schools that were on the bond issue list for major improvements, and see firsthand the district and school needs. Dennis Griffith (Rockwood assistant superintendent/director of administrative services) took us on a tour of these schools, where we were able to see the needed improvements, and speak with the employees.
Prop S Projects
Funding from Prop S will provide safety, technology and facility improvements throughout the Rockwood School District. Descriptions for some of the major school improvement projects included on Prop S follow.
Project: Renovate Stanton Elementary School’s Kitchen
Why this renovation is needed: With approximately 525 students, Stanton’s kitchen currently does not have the space to store enough food to feed students on a daily basis because the kitchen lacks any walk-in coolers. As a result, supplies must be ordered on a weekly basis, which causes a back-order for frozen items. Delivery drivers often make additional trips to neighboring schools to pick up food to serve the Stanton Elementary students. In addition, the kitchen lacks a storage closet. When deliveries are made, items are put in the kitchen manager’s small office and with limited space; this is a safety concern. The kitchen staff also only has an antiquated stove and have to come in earlier to make school breakfasts. There is also only one dated warmer to store the food after cooking, which is not enough for the cafeteria demands.
Project: Renovate Uthoff Valley Elementary School’s Cafeteria
Why this renovation is needed: With a student population of more than 480 students, Uthoff Valley must hold five lunch shifts between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to serve lunch to all students. With limited space, the school does not have a storage area. In addition, tables are used to hide a refrigerator that is stored at one end of the cafeteria. A make-shift wall is used to hide the floor cleaner, which is stored in the same space. The custodian’s office is in a small cramped supply cleaning closet near the cafeteria. Overall, the school has outgrown its current cafeteria space and renovations are needed to better serve the students and school employees.
Project: Renovate Eureka High School’s Locker Room
Why this renovation is needed: Eureka’s locker rooms can only accommodate one-third of the school’s student population. Students have to carry their books and clothes with them to PE. Students are often late for class as there is not enough room for all the kids to be in the locker room at one time. The facilities were built in 1971 and then renovated in 1983 when Eureka had around 700 students. Today, Eureka has more than 1,990 students. In addition to the lack of space, the locker rooms are not handicap accessible and have poor ventilation. Renovation of these facilities will benefit the entire student population as the locker rooms are used on a daily basis for physical education classes as well as athletic programs.
Project: Update Eureka Elementary School’s electrical wiring and renovate its kitchen and cafeteria
Why these projects are needed: The school’s electrical units are supported on three poles located at the back entrance of this school. This area is where parents pick-up and drop-off their children each day as well as staff parking. With funding from Prop S, the school will be able to put the electrical units underground, making the entrance safer for students, parents and staff.
Coupled with this need, the school’s kitchen and cafeteria spaces are too small to serve the needs of the students. There is only enough space for one person to walk through on each side of the kitchen. There are not enough ovens to cook more food or to keep the food that is cooked warm; there is also only one table to prepare their food. The kitchen staff needs more space to accommodate their breakfast and lunch routines. Currently, only three classes, or around 70 students, can be served lunch at the same time because of a lack of seating in the cafeteria, as well as the lack of ovens to cook food for students. Food has to be ordered and delivered on a daily basis, as there is no place to store it. When there is a higher demand for a certain item for the day, calls have to be made to other schools to get more food at the last minute. Similar to Stanton Elementary, delivery drivers often have to make additional trips to neighboring schools to pick-up food to serve the students at Eureka Elementary.
Although not all of the schools are receiving major projects, such as those just listed, here are the other items Prop S will cover for several schools in Rockwood:
Updates for security cameras (network wiring upgrade); Additional security cameras (200); Generator interface to buildings (back up for phone system); Improved visitor ID security; Check-in center upgrades; New lock system for interior classroom doors; Computer/Network wiring upgrades; Maintenance on projectors, audio, and SMART boards; Upgrades to network switches, access points and server storage; Fire alarm and electrical system upgrades; Fire sprinkler/code compliance; Roofing renovations; Upgrades and structural masonry repairs; Mechanical system replacements and energy savings improvements initiatives; Safety repairs and upgrades for bleachers and gym flooring; Safety improvements for play area surfaces, parking, and sidewalks; Infrastructure improvements; Upgrades to perimeter fences and walls; Upgrades to front entrances and cafeterias; Public address system upgrades.
As Rockwood School District parents and residents, we recognize the vast needs of our schools. Our students and staff will benefit by Voting Yes on Prop S.
Be sure to vote Yes on Prop S on Tuesday, April 2.
Chair, Proposition S Committee