Hello Marshall Public Schools Community:
After a delay to the beginning of the school year, MPS quickly got back on track and we are off to a great start of the 2018-2019 school year. Our teachers and students are happily working and learning every hour of every day. Marshall is a wonderful place to live, work, and go to school.
A tremendous way to kick off the new school year was held on Monday evening, Aug. 20. It was a very exciting and important time for the entire Marshall community as we unveiled the brand new Owls Gymnasium. What a showplace it is, and it will truly be a source of Owl Pride for many years. MPS cannot thank the MHS Booster Club enough for the effort, time and money spent on this wonderful new facility! In particular, Ellen Lance did an amazing job of overseeing the project.
As you no doubt know by now, the delay of the school year was caused by the discovery of concrete dust in Southeast Elementary and the subsequent clean-up efforts. We received all-clear notification after two air quality tests and the faculty/staff worked very hard to get their classrooms ready for the school year. Southeast held a very successful open house on Aug. 20, and opened doors to students on the 22. Big thanks go to the teachers, staff, and everyone from across the district who came to help Southeast get back on its feet. Dr. Lorenz, the maintenance, and custodial crew were the heroes of the summer who worked so hard to make sure Southeast was clean, safe and ready. We owe Steve Perkins and ServPro our gratitude as they went over and beyond our expectations and helped with the effort a great deal. And a special thanks to the MHS softball team who, after a hard day of practice and before the Meet the Owls, worked all day at SE to help. What an awesome display of Owl Pride.
The MPS Early Childhood has completely moved into the Spainhower School and the alternative education programs have graciously moved over to give them room. What a feat that was. Everyone has been so great about the challenges and I feel very fortunate to have such awesome people involved in these efforts.
Our last working AC at the Spainhower School flared up and was destroyed the Friday morning before school started on Tuesday. We were able to secure a rental AC unit to get us through. It’s a good thing we had so many very intelligent individuals working to find a solution. (Thanks to Mike and Steve Mills!) If all goes well with the conveyance of the southern track of the former Hab Center property (where the Spainhower Building sits), work can begin in the spring on the permanent AC before it gets hot again.
The question has surfaced about whether the MPS district is being treated fairly by the city of Marshall in the exchange of the Gieringer property for the MHC property. The board and CO Administration believe we absolutely are. The (chart above) shows a breakdown of the projected costs and approximate values to MPS. These figures were calculated by school and city officials. The district engineer estimates the current value of the Spainhower School building at $6 to $9 million. The district is so fortunate to have this awesome gift.
I have also been asked if the board and administration are stockpiling money in Fund 4 to move forward with a building project. The answer to that is yes and it has never been a secret. We are being fiscally conservative and saving as much money as possible (in Fund 4 - the building fund) to finance the expansion of a classroom wing onto the Spainhower School, which will cost approximately $4 million. This has been done without significantly decreasing our fund balance percentage, which is our general savings account. We hope to move forward on the wing addition project within two years. We believe if Marshall taxpayers see we are doing what we said we would do with our local revenues, trust will be enhanced. So far as a true “building project,” the cost of a new school will be around $30 to $40 million. A building project of that nature will not be possible without a vote of Marshall taxpayers.
An informational meeting for community members and MPS employees will be held to discuss the future of Marshall facilities (particularly the plans for the expansion of the Spainhower School and thoughts about the future of our elementary school building), the district’s financial standing, and the ways in which the administration and board members are working to make sure Marshall Schools are the absolute best places for kids to be. Since our plans for facilities are contingent upon the conveyance of the former Hab Center property, however, the meeting will be scheduled after the city conveys the property to us.
M. Carol Maher, Ph.D
Superintendent of Schools