May 15, 2021

Stender: District addressing ‘long-term facility needs’

April Panther Pitch | By Deron Stender, CCSD Superintendent

Thank you for supporting our children and schools! As a community, we overcame many challenges and changes to the traditional family, student, and teaching routines. I am grateful that many of our students were able to receive their education onsite where they received social and emotional support from dedicated staff. Students and families who chose to receive educational services remotely were given that opportunity. Keeping the past year in perspective, I am proud of how we worked together to keep our students in school where our staff is most capable of supporting them. I know it was hard and there were numerous give and takes but that is what makes Creston unique and defines the value of collaboration and mutual understanding. It is what I refer to as -- Creston Cares!

Have you heard the district is studying options to address long-term facility needs? Yes, like our personal households and properties, district facilities age, equipment reaches its functional capacity, and learning and activity spaces are ready to be renovated. The district is working with DLR to develop a timeline and process that includes community collaboration. Yes, you will be involved with the process and kept informed through transparent communication and community sessions. Like our households and properties, the district will develop a budget that reflects the financial support for our students and schools. While the district budgets for maintenance each year, the fiscal resources do not support a broad long-term solution. I am guessing many of you are asking how this will impact you and your taxes. The district is focused on maintaining the current tax levy as the district’s two facility loans (debt service) expire in May of 2022 and May of 2023. Through a variety of financing models, we believe that maintaining the current tax rate can be accomplished. Due to sound fiscal management, the district’s credit rating continues to improve, resulting in the most competitive borrowing rates. Again, this isn’t happening tomorrow and we will provide and keep our community informed.

As we approach the finish line, we will continue our commitment and focus to support students, collaborate with families, and serve our community. I welcome your feedback and invite you to join me for the Community Coffee from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 5 at Adams Street Espresso. We will follow social distancing protocols. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a visit, please contact me. Thank you for making our schools the PRIDE of the community.

This communication and any response to it may constitute a public record, and, therefore, may be available upon request in accordance with Iowa public records law, Iowa Code Chapter 22.