Superintendent Message (English)

Dayton and specifically the Dayton Schools value both legacy and a future-forward viewpoint of innovation. I have recently viewed evidence of both legacy and innovation when I attended the FFA Banquet. What a wonderful event! It not only celebrated the accomplishments of our current Ag and FFA students but also indirectly showcased the accomplishments of past students, like the master of ceremonies Luke Wildhaber. It is so easy to see the incredible, nearly 30 year, impact that Mitch Coleman has had here in Dayton! The event was a great time while also raising thousands of dollars for the program’s future. My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves- and also ate some fantastic food!

Student safety starts in the very structure of our buildings. We propose working on creating safer learning environments for the children in Dayton. Knowing that construction costs would be high, I sought out multiple grant opportunities (Two $25k state technical assistance grants, one $2.5 million seismic upgrade grant for earthquake safety, and one $4 million bond matching grant) and worked with a facilities committee to identify projects for the proposed Bond Measure.

Great news! Dayton School District was recently awarded $2.5 million for the seismic grant. The nearly six-month process included securing a $25,000 technical assistance grant from the state. This was to contract with an engineering firm to conduct an assessment for our three schools. This $2.5 million grant would allow us to make upgrades to our Grade School to ensure that our students and staff would be safe during an earthquake (this grant is not dependent on the bond passing). As an aside, the assessment referenced above identified potential upgrades at the high school. That project would cost over $3.5 million and would require funds above the maximum $2.5 million available in future grant funding we would seek in the fall of 2019. If the bond passes, the bond plan would include a contingency for that additional $1 million above a possible $2.5 million we could receive.

Why was this referred to the voters at this time? Three main reasons, 1) There are projects that the general operations fund cannot cover, 2) we have a bond retiring allowing for a new bond to be considered by the voters. If the bond passes, property taxes would remain the same, and 3) we qualify for a matching funds grant of $4 million that is only available to us now and is not guaranteed in the future.

If the bond passes, it would fund upgrades and repairs that cannot be accomplished with regular funding. If the $11 million bond passes, it would guarantee an additional $4 million in state grant funding. This would bring $15 million to our district without raising estimated property taxes. The expected rate is $1.37 per $1,000 assessed value. $17.5 million total when combined with the $2.5 million seismic grant! If the bond passes, the funds would serve kids by maintaining and retaining the current facilities.  If the measure does not pass, no additional assessment would be made. Also, if the bond does not pass,  the following projects would not be completed: Update classrooms and libraries; repair outdated boilers; upgrade windows, entry security and visibility, security systems, fire alarms; add ADA restrooms, fencing, key card access, cameras and emergency power back-up capability; upgrade and repair flooring, ceilings, roofs, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.

Related to the above, I would like to ask who would have a desire to help guide the proposed bond management for our school buildings. If the bond passes, I would put together a bond oversight committee that would work with our bond project manager, School Board, and myself to oversee the expenditure of bond funds. This is to keep both me and the School Board accountable. Please look for an application on our website after May 22nd, if the measure passes, if you are interested in being a part of this committee.

Thank you for your consistent and generous support of the Dayton School District.

Jason Hay