2008 BOND FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS
UPDATED JAN. 2014
In November 2008, APS voters approved a $215 million bond construction program. The program provides approximately $201 million for building improvements and nearly $14 million for technology. Construction will be completed over a six-year period, beginning in 2009 and ending in 2015.
Following are answers to some common questions about the bond program.
Q. How were the 2008 bond projects selected?
A. The recommended program was developed by the APS Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee, which includes APS community members, teachers, principals, and district and city planning staff. The LRFAC conducted a 30-month study to assess building conditions at all schools and support sites in the AuroraPublic Schools district. The committee prioritized only the most critical $215 million from a requirements list totaling $476 million. Projects were prioritized based on factors such as student population, building age and condition, and predicted enrollment growth. The APS Board of Education spent several months reviewing the LRFAC recommendation before authorizing the bond election.
Q. What does the bond program include for charter schools in the district? Why are charter schools included in the APS program?
A. All charter schools located within APS boundaries will receive $45 per student per year for technology needs. By state law, Colorado school districts are required to invite charter schools to participate in discussions about bond ballot measures. While not all school districts included funding for charter schools in their bond proposals, APS believes that all students in the district should benefit from these funds.
Q. How are bond projects financed?
A. The district will sell general obligation bonds to investors to raise the funds needed. APS will sell $150 million of bonds in December 2008 and the remaining $65 million in about December 2011. The proceeds will be deposited into secure, low-risk interest-bearing accounts as required by state law. The funds will be used to pay for bond projects as they are completed.
Q. How was the bond project schedule developed?
A. The schedule was determined by workload management considerations for the Construction Management and Support Department, and critically, to limitations on the district's ability to borrow funds. As a result, APS will fund about $45 million in construction per year for the first four years, and $20 million in the final year.
In addition, APS has committed to completing the construction of a new high school and P-8 school at 6th Avenue Parkway and Harvest Road during the first 2½ years of the bond program. Since these two projects will cost nearly $90 million, most other projects will be scheduled between 2011 and 2015.
Q. When does the design process start for schools with major construction projects?
A. For major construction projects, the construction department will typically contact principals to start the planning process about two years prior to the scheduled completion of the project.
Q. How will APS inform parents and community members about major construction projects?
A. APS will provide advance notice to parents and neighborhood residents about major construction projects. In addition to letters sent to school parents and neighbors, the district generally holds community meetings before the start of projects such as new schools and whole building remodels. APS is also committed to providing regular bond project updates to students, staff, parents and the Aurora community through the APS Web site, newsletter articles, the Aurora Sentinel backpage and community publications.
Q. Will all schools receive building renewal improvements? When are these projects scheduled?
A. Yes, all schools will receive building renewal funds. Although advance schedules are generally not produced for building renewal projects, schools will receive ample notice before the start of this work.
Q. Can a school change its building renewal projects if other building needs arise?
A. Yes, schools will have the opportunity to apply for modification of building renewal lists by submitting a request to the Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee.
Q. How does APS select architects and contractors for bond projects?
A. APS will advertise for qualification statements from design consultants approximately once a year. A qualification-based selection process is used to select consultants for all projects to be designed each year. Advertisements for contractors occur on an as-needed basis throughout the year, although multiple projects may be advertised at one time. Following review of contractor qualification statements, APS will develop an approved bidders list for each project. Construction contracts are usually awarded based on lowest acceptable bid. Detailed information for consultants and contractors is posted at http://www.aps.k12.co.us/bond2002/consult.html.
Q. What technology projects are part of the bond and when are they scheduled?
A. Technology projects include technology renewal, computer and telephone network upgrades and computer application upgrades. The technology renewal projects will provide APS and district charter schools approximately $45 per student per year for new computers. Technology renewal projects are scheduled on an annual basis through 2014.
Q. Will any bond projects require schools to use a construction calendar?
A. Yes, several schools will be placed on construction calendars due to the additional time required to complete work at those sites. The construction calendar will be in effect for the school year prior to the summer when major construction is planned. The following schools will use construction calendars for the school years indicated:
- ColumbiaMiddle School
- Side Creek Elementary
- Altura Elementary
- Elkhart Elementary
- Lansing Elementary
- Lyn Knoll Elementary
- Aurora Hills Middle School (modified Jan. 2012 start)
- Clyde Miller Elementary
- Tollgate Elementary
- Yale Elementary
Q. How will the construction calendars impact instruction?
A. APS is designing the calendars to minimize the impact on classroom instruction and ensure that instructional time meets Colorado Department of Education requirements. For most schools on construction calendars, the Fifth Block of Instruction will be relocated to other APS school sites. The APS School Services Department will share construction calendars and information with staff and students in the year prior to each construction calendar.
Q. Is APS within the budget and schedule planned for the bond program?
A. APS is accomplishing the bond program on time and under budget. Due to a competitive construction market and savings and interest added to the bond fund, APS has added more than $35 million in new construction and technology projects beyond what we promised voters. The projects added were prioritized by our Long Range Facilities and Citizens Bond Advisory committees and approved by the APS Board of Education.