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Student learning in classroom2016 Bond Program Frequently Asked Questions

Bond Overview

In November 2016, Aurora voters approved a $300 million bond measure to fund improvements at every school in the district. The program provides approximately $280 million for building improvements and nearly $20 million for technology enhancements. Construction will be completed over a five-year period, beginning in 2017 and ending in 2022.

How were the 2016 bond projects selected?

During a three-year study, the district’s Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC) conducted a full assessment of all APS buildings and recommended priority project needs. The committee shared its recommendations with APS stakeholders at community open houses and meetings in spring 2016.

Based on its study and community feedback, LRFAC recommended a 2016 Capital Improvement Program to the APS Board of Education. The Board approved the recommendations before authorizing the 2016 bond election. To view the LRFAC’s Facility and Technology improvement recommendations, visit bond.aurorak12.org/overview/needs

How are bond projects financed?

APS sells general obligation bonds to investors to raise the funds needed. The district sold $200 million in bonds in December 2016 and the remaining $100 million will be sold in December 2018. All proceeds are deposited into secure, low-risk, interest-bearing accounts, as required by state law. The funds are used to pay for bond projects as they are completed.

When will work begin on the bond project at my school?

The Construction Management and Support Services Department released the master project schedule and bond implementation timeline for the 2016 bond program. The 5-year plan was presented and approved by the Board of Education in February 2017.

Projects were prioritized based on feedback received from district leadership and the Division of Equity in Learning and must align with applicable BOE policies and regulations. Please keep in mind that this plan will be modified as needed, based on enrollment and academic program need trends. To view the 2017-18 projects timeline, please visit bond.aurorak12.org/project-schedule  

When does the design process start for schools with major construction projects?

Our Design and Construction Management Department contacts principals to start major construction project planning two years prior to the scheduled completion of the project.

How does APS inform parents and community members about major construction projects?

APS provides advance notice to parents and neighborhood residents about major construction projects. In addition to letters sent to parents and neighbors, the district generally holds community meetings before the start of projects like new schools and whole building remodels.

APS is also committed to providing regular bond project updates to students, parents, staff and the Aurora community through the APS website, social media, newsletter articles, the Aurora Sentinel back page and other community publications.

Are all schools receive building renewal improvements? When are these projects scheduled?

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.

Can a school change its building renewal projects if other building needs arise?

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 (LRFAC). Principals who would like to request a modification to their building renewal project lists should complete the form at the link below and return it to Amy Spatz, Director of Construction Management & Support. The form can be found at: construction.aurorak12.org.   

How does APS select architects and contractors for bond projects?

APS advertises 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 develops an approved bidders list for each project. Construction contracts are usually awarded based on lowest acceptable bid. For additional details regarding Board of Education polices on advertising, bidding and contracting, visit construction.aurorak12.org/consultants-contractors/.

What technology projects are included in the bond?

Technology projects are focused on four areas: 

  1. District technology infrastructure and network upgrades
  2. Technology equipment for schools
  3. Charter school technology
  4. Safety and cyber security network and data center infrastructure upgrades

Will any bond projects require schools to use a construction calendar?

Yes, both Mrachek Middle School and Montview Elementary School will need to be placed on construction calendars due to the additional time required to complete the work at those sites. In addition, several other schools may need to be placed on construction calendars. The decision to place a school on a construction calendar is made early in the construction process and advanced notice is given to schools and their communities.

How will the construction calendars impact instruction?

APS will design construction calendars to minimize the impact on classroom instruction and ensure that instructional time meets Colorado Department of Education requirements. The APS Chief Operating Officer will share construction calendars and information with Board members, parents, students and staff in the school year prior to each construction calendar release.

What does the bond program include for charter schools in the district?

According to state law, Colorado school districts are required to invite charter schools to participate in discussions about bond ballot measures. While not all school districts include funding for charter schools in their bond programs, APS believes that all students in our district should benefit from these funds.

The bond will provide funding for technology and security cameras at charter schools, totaling $2.2 million over five years, with funds to be allocated to charter schools based on enrollment.

How does APS ensure that the bond program is managed effectively?

APS established a Citizens Bond Oversight Committee to monitor the progress of the 2016 bond program, review and approve any significant program changes and ensure accountability to the public. The committee is comprised of Aurora community members and business and civic leaders. To learn more about the CBOC and its charge, visit bond.aurorak12.org/cboc.