We're in year six of a 10-year, $279 million facilities upgrade. The latest - two new schools are under construction:
1) Cherry Valley Elementary opened for the 2018-19 school year.
2) Constance Lane Elementary will open for the 2019-20 school year.
What else you need to know:
What's the timeline for new school construction?What happens with teachers and staff in these plans?
Construction on the new Cherry Valley Elementary School will be completed in time for the 2018-19 school year. The school will serve students in the Cherry Valley/White Swan and Thompson elementary school attendance zones. Construction on Constance Lane Elementary in Rockford's ORCHiD neighborhood began in fall 2017. Constance Lane will replace the existing Kishwaukee and Nelson elementary schools. The new school is expected to be ready for students for the start of the 2019-20 school year. Both new schools have identical designs of 84,000 square feet, although the buildings may differ in brick, paint or flooring, for example. Each will have four strands (four kindergarten classrooms, four first grade classrooms, etc.).
This is not a plan to cut staff or lay off teachers. Even as schools close, the number of students will remain the same so the number of teachers and staff needed will also remain constant.
What does it mean for kids? How does it affect attendance zones? Would students be grandfathered in?
Please visit the School Zone Locator to determine how each zone shifts, based on school closures, new construction and consolidation. The Welcome Center will notify families of attendance zone shifts. If you have specific questions, please contact the Welcome Center: 815-967-8070.
Why aren't any new schools planned for Rockford's west side?
The need for west-side schools isn't as great. The schools most recently built in the district – RESA Middle School, and Barbour, Lewis Lemon and Ellis elementary schools – are on the city's west side.
Is air conditioning a priority? Will it be installed in any new schools and/or additions?
Yes, air conditioning is being installed in additions and new construction across the district.
Will any of these plans increase my taxes? Where is the money coming from?
There is no need for a tax increase to fund any of these plans. The School Board has outlined $250 million for upcoming construction and facilities upgrades from:
- General Obligation Bonds: $139M (from the bond referendum)
- Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) Internal: $9M
- Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) Bond: $25M
- Health/Life Safety Bonds: $18M
- Reserve Pledge: $50M
- Fund 20 Capital Operation & Maintenance Pledge: $9M
I have a question about RPS 205 facilities – who can I ask?
Parents/guardians, community members and staff are encouraged to use Let's Talk!, a two-way communication platform for questions, comments, suggestions, concerns or compliments.