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Tiger Legacy Project

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Twinsburg City School District
Tiger Legacy Project
We are happy to announce that we are relaunching our work to update Twinsburg City School District facilities, known as the Tiger Legacy Project.

With labor and resource costs on the rise, the time to act is now. However, we are thankful for your support and will continue to be mindful of our taxpayers’ investment while ensuring our students have access to the 21st-century education they deserve.

With the help of our Facilities Action Team, made up of parents, former board members, TCSD staff members, and community members, we determined a path forward to address the District's most urgent needs.

In addition, we are launching a listening and informational tour with our community to share the latest update to the plan and gather feedback. We want to ensure that any plan is the community’s wishes for our schools.  Meetings will be conducted both in-person and virtually. Once this information is gathered, the Superintendent will present findings and recommendations to the Twinsburg Board of Education on what next steps need to be taken. The recommendations are expected to be presented in Spring 2022.

Tiger Legacy Project Roadmap

Tiger Legacy Project FAQs

The District is compiling a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) based on the questions we have received from stakeholders. We will continue to add to this list as necessary.

In addition, please feel free to submit questions to Superintendent Kathi Powers at:  [email protected]

What is the Conceptual Legacy Project?
In 2016 the District commissioned a Facilities Assessment, which reported that the cost to maintain George G. Dodge Intermediate School would be $22.2 million dollars while an option to re-align grade levels and build a brand new three-grade school would cost $30.7 million.

In 2018, the District commenced the development of a Comprehensive Strategic Plan beginning with community engagement in the form of Focus Groups.  Following the Focus Groups, specific areas were concerned; Facilities Planning among them.

Action Teams made up of a cross-section of community stakeholders gathered to further develop the Strategic Plan.  The stakeholders comprised both internal and external audiences and focused on developing a plan that would move the District forward in the years to come.

From that work, the Conceptual Legacy Project was created.

Why is the District revisiting the building project now?
In March of 2020, the District was forced to switch its focus to ensure meaningful learning continued and students’ needs were being met during COVID. That meant pressing “pause” of facilities planning.

In the meantime, the cost of labor and materials began to skyrocket - about 25% since 2018.

In 2021, the Board of Education identified Facilities Planning as a primary focus. There is a cost to maintain our aging facilities. The longer we wait to engage in this building project, the more expensive construction will be and the higher the costs will be to maintain current facilities.

What plan is the District currently exploring?
In 2022, the Action Team and Board of Education identify Immediate Needs (Phase-in Plan):
  • New building for Grades 4-6 (replace George G. Dodge Intermediate School)
  • Relocate Tiger Stadium to the campus at Twinsburg High School
  • Replace roofing, repair/replace playgrounds, safety upgrades (warm, safe, dry)
Approximate Cost of Phase 1: $54,900,000

Why is the District considering phasing in the project?
The Action Team and Board of Education both agreed phasing in the project will allow the District to address the most urgent facilities issues at a reasonable cost to residents as the economy continues to adjust during the pandemic.

Why focus on George G. Dodge Intermediate School?
George G. Dodge Intermediate School is in the most need of repair. In addition, when we surveyed our community about upgrading our schools in February 2020, 62% agreed that George G. Dodge Intermediate School should be replaced at a different location.

Why do we need to move Tiger Stadium?
Once it was determined that George G. Dodge Intermediate School needs to be replaced to support our 21st century learners and beyond, we looked at three plots of land:
  1. The current site at the Dodge campus -  The current facility would need to be maintained while a new school is built.  Building the new school behind the current facility is problematic given the unstable nature of that plot of land as well as the land’s proximity to the City of Twinsburg’s Water Treatment Plant;
  2. Secondly, we looked at building the new school on the campus of Twinsburg High School.  Building the new three-grade school there would cause additional issues with traffic due to the limited egress; and
  3. Moving Tiger Stadium to the campus of Twinsburg High School makes the most sense.  The stadium would be in close proximity to the high school and would allow for physical education and other high school activities and Band practice on the turf during the school day.  Further, the egress issue identified in #2 above would not be an issue as activities at the stadium are typically scheduled at times when the high school is not in session.  Finally, by relocating Tiger Stadium to the campus at Twinsburg High School, the land on which the stadium currently stands would be dedicated for the construction of the new three-grade school.
How do we plan to engage the community?
We are launching a listening and informational tour with our community to share the latest update to the plan and gather feedback. We want to ensure that any plan is the community’s wishes for our schools.  Meetings will be conducted both in-person and virtually. Once this information is gathered, the Superintendent will present findings and recommendations to the Twinsburg Board of Education on what next steps need to be taken.  The recommendations are expected to be presented in Spring 2022.

What if the District did nothing?
The reality is there is no “zero cost” option. We are spending more dollars patching and repairing our aging schools which could impact the dollars we spend in the classroom.

During the presentation it was mentioned that preschool is not a State requirement except for cases of Special Needs students? Yes / No                                                                   
The state requires school districts to educate students identified with disabilities as young as three years of age.  Further, in the Integrated Preschool Program housed at Wilcox Primary School, we are required to have a 50:50 ratio of students with disabilities and peer models (typically developing preschool children) in each classroom.

Parents taking advantage of preschool do pay for this offering? Yes / No                                          
Yes, parents who enroll their children as Peer Models in our Integrated Preschool Program pay tuition as well as well as parents who enroll their children in our Kindergarten Preparatory Program which is the second preschool program in our school district.

What is the charge per student for preschool?                                                                             
Tuition for our Peer Models in the Integrated Preschool Program is $1,500 per year.  This program runs for half-day sessions on Mondays - Thursdays.

Tuition for preschoolers in our Kindergarten Preparatory Program is $1,875 per year.  This program runs for half-day sessions on Mondays - Friday.

We the tax payers provide & pay for kindergarten even though it is not a state requirement? Yes / No
Ohio law requires children to attend Kindergarten, however, children are only required to attend half-day sessions (2.5 hours per day).  Ohio school districts cannot admit a child to first grade who has not completed Kindergarten unless the child was admitted through early entrance to first grade.  Although I am uncertain as to the exact date full-day Kindergarten became an option in our school district, I know that it has been in place for more than a dozen years.
 
What is the per student cost for kindergarten?
According to the Ohio Department of Education's CUPP Report for FY21, the cost to educate a student in our school district is $13,355.38

How many students are enrolled in preschool & kindergarten? 
Currently, we have 191 Preschool students and 296 Kindergarten students enrolled in our school district.

What is the current and best guess future enrollment for Dodge School?
Currently we have 847 fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students.  The District has had two enrollment studies conducted and the City of Twinsburg has also conducted a similar study.  In all three cases, it would appear that enrollment in our school district will remain relatively stable over the next decade.  Regardless, if the building project moves forward, we will plan for adequate space so that future generations of students have a learning environment that supports the enrollment.

Have you thought about outsourcing bus maintenance?
Currently, the language in our Negotiated Agreement with the Twinsburg Support Staff Association precludes the outsourcing of bus maintenance.

Have you thought about more bike paths to the schools to lower our city’s carbon footprint?
The City of Twinsburg has an effort underway to encourage our residents to embrace a more “walkable” community.  Some of our students ride their bikes to school, however, the lack of sidewalks on some of our community’s roads may limit some students from doing so.

The State Liquor Agency prohibits the sale of alcohol within 500 feet of a public or parochial school or the principal campus.  Will the construction location of the new school affect Rock the Park?
 
We do not see the location of the new school as prohibiting the sale of alcohol at the Rock the Park events.  In the past, the District has been asked by the State Liquor Agency to provide permission to vendors who establish restaurants/pubs near school locations (eg The Basement which is near Wilcox Primary School). 

As Dodge has reached its life cycle, when will Bissell, Wilcox, RBC reach theirs?
According to our Facilities Assessment, the repairs and renovations suggested for Wilcox Primary School, Samuel Bissell Elementary School, and RB Chamberlin Middle School do not reach the 2/3s rule that suggests the construction of a new school.  Please see the PowerPoint found at the Tiger Legacy Project page on our website for more information.

Why would you not wait until the logistics and manpower problems are minimal?  Do you not have confidence that these problems will ease in time?
The reality is there is no “zero cost” option. We are spending more dollars patching and repairing our aging schools which could impact the dollars we spend in the classroom.

The sports fields moving to the Dodge site…All of the players and spectators will be forced to smell the stench of the waste water treatment plant during games.  Have you considered how unpleasant that will be?
We have found that games played at our Varsity Baseball Field during the evening hours and practices at our girls Soccer field during the mornings have generally not encountered the unpleasant odors.  However, during the middle of the school day, our students do encounter the unpleasant odors while they are outdoors for recess.

Can’t some of the projects be finished through regular maintenance funds?
Fortunately, years ago, the residents of our community passed a Permanent Improvement issue that generates between $1.8 - $2 million a year.  Those dollars are earmarked for annual maintenance projects such as paving and roofing.  The District also purchases textbooks and school buses with these Permanent Improvement funds.  Soon, the District will need to fully repair Tiger Trail which is the road from Twinsburg High School, past the Community Pool, past Tiger Stadium and to Ravenna Road by Hoon Field.  Repairing that one road will cost approximately $1 million.

What method of funding will be used to support the Tiger Legacy Project?
The Twinsburg Board of Education will determine whether the Tiger Legacy Project will move forward following this period of community engagement.  In Summer, 2022, the Board will hear recommendations from the Superintendent and will then determine the timing and amount of a potential bond issue.  

Any thought to increase income tax to ease the burden on seniors?

Historically, the Twinsburg City School District has not sought income tax dollars as that funding source has been solely used by the City of Twinsburg.  Thus, the school district relies on property tax issues to support its ongoing operations.

I would like to know how the school is going to work with the City of Twinsburg making sure the residents can afford all of this. Have you been in contact with the City Council?  The City of Twinsburg is losing two of its largest employers with Cardinal Health and RX Vision not bringing back their entire workforce.  This is going to have significant impact on the income tax.  Not to mention the capital improvement projects that were put on hold in 2020 and 2021.  The City is going to need a levy from residents or they are going to have to invoke the 2.83 county millage.
Part of our engagement process is to share our plans for the Tiger Legacy Project with government officials from all three of our communities.  Thus far, we have presented to Mayor Yates, Mayor Alonso and the Reminderville City Council, and to the Twinsburg Township Trustees.  We understand the need to work with our government officials so that our ballot issues do not conflict with theirs and so the ballot issues do not cause unnecessary burden to our residents.  Further, we understand the need to communicate with our residents so they are aware of the needs of our school community. Communication with our government officials and with our residents is ongoing.  

What is the timeline for construction of the Tiger Legacy Project, Phase 1?
Once the Board of Education determines the timing and amount of a potential bond issue and that issue passes, it will take approximately 1 – 2 years to develop final plans for the relocation of Tiger Stadium and for the construction to be completed.  At the same time, final plans for the construction of the new elementary school will take approximately 1 year with construction taking approximately 18 months to three years.  All of the timelines are dependent upon availability of materials and labor.

What are some types of flexible learning spaces you are considering for hallways and outdoor spaces?  How are you going to best utilize design spaces?
We are preparing our students to be successful adults.  The trends in employment suggest that employees need to be able to work collaboratively in spaces that can be adjusted based upon need.  Thus, as we consider design options for the new elementary school, we want to integrate furniture that can be configured and reconfigured based upon the need.  Further, every student has their own preference or need for furniture types, thus we would want to include a variety of options so that each student can learn in an environment that best suits their own learning style.  We will want to capitalize on using lobbies, hallways, the outdoors, media centers, and other large spaces as learning space opportunities.

How much input will the educators have in the needs of the students regarding the building?
We will engage our staff members in the design process.  

Do you have all the land you anticipate needing for this project?
Yes, at this time, the Board of Education currently owns the land that is necessary to proceed with the Tiger Legacy Project, Phase 1.

Please provide the reasons why the initial plan to build the new school behind Twinsburg High School has changed.
The main reason the initial plan to build the new school behind Twinsburg High School was changed is egress.  With only one driveway in and out of the Twinsburg High School campus, adding another school with additional traffic on that campus was viewed as detrimental to traffic patterns and congestion.

Contact Information

For Questions and Feedback:

Twinsburg Schools Today

April 2022 Edition

Superintendent Kathi Powers welcomes President of Lesko Architecture Robert W. Blatchford and Business Manager Chad Welker for a discussion about the Tiger Legacy Project. 

March 2022 Edition

Superintendent Kathi Powers discusses the TIGER LEGACY PROJECT: A proposal for a new 3 grade building to replace Dodge Intermediate School.

A Glimpse Inside of George G. Dodge Intermediate School

Tour George G. Dodge Intermediate School with Staff and Parents to See Why Our Tiger Legacy Project is Vital to the Twinsburg City School District.

Video #1

Featuring Principal Reggie Holland, parent Mrs. Mary Agbovi and Dodge educators Mrs. Kim Henderson, Mrs. Elizabeth Brindley and Mrs. Rebecca Calve.

Video #2

Featuring Dodge educator Mrs. Kelly Reich.

Video #3

Featuring Supervisor of Maintenance and Grounds John Sommers and Maintenance Worker David Benton.

Tiger Legacy Project Community Meeting Spotlight

Tiger Legacy Project March 15, 2022 Community Meeting