Letter to the Editor

Central Lee supervisor clarifies funding mechanisms


Dear Editor,
At our regularly scheduled March board meeting, the Central Lee Board of Education approved two significant facility projects to begin this summer. These projects, including a comprehensive renovation of our high school science classrooms and the construction of a new district office, are fully funded by sales tax revenue, without any impact on the district’s property tax rate. We are financing these projects through our sales tax fund reserve rather than bonding.
The science classrooms, unchanged since their original construction in the 1960s, are in urgent need of modernization. This renovation will transform them into versatile spaces, combining classroom and lab areas with a movable partition for flexible use. It will replace outdated infrastructure, providing modern facilities to support our high school science department’s success and improve the learning environment for our students.
Regarding the district office, the current setup, assembled in the 1980s using repurposed mobile units from the 1970s, is no longer sustainable. The wear and tear on these units, likely exceeding their intended lifespan, along with escalating infrastructure issues, calls for immediate action. Constructing a new district office will address these concerns while optimizing resources by consolidating central office staff and freeing up valuable classroom space across our buildings. For example, relocating our Technology Director to the district office will open up a classroom for student use at the high school.
Extensive deliberation led us to conclude that relocating the district office within our existing buildings or seeking off-campus options would not sufficiently meet our needs or allow us to provide better service for our staff, students, and community. Leveraging the expertise of our high school trade students for a significant portion of the construction will help mitigate costs, aligning with our commitment to fiscal responsibility.
As previously mentioned, both projects are financed through our sales tax fund, avoiding additional debt service and preserving our ability to undertake future projects. Looking ahead, we remain committed to planning for the expansion of our K-8 building, with preliminary work underway in collaboration with Estes Construction. Enrollment trends will guide our decision-making regarding the timing and scope of this expansion, prioritizing the best interests of our students and community. If trends continue with 100+ students per class over the next two years, expansion becomes necessary; if they revert to 95 students per class, it may not be an immediate priority.
Regarding concerns about potential property tax increases, I want to clarify that the main reason for any increase is the management fund, not the district office project. We have refrained from levying this fund for five years to provide property tax relief, but it is essential for covering the district’s liability insurance. Going forward, we will likely continue to levy this amount, as it is uncommon for school districts to go more than one year without doing so.
In conclusion, the Central Lee Community School District remains committed to transparent and responsible resource stewardship, ensuring that every decision aligns with our mission to provide exceptional educational experiences for our students.


Andy Crozier, Superintendent

Central Lee Community School District

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