Dear Lawrence Township Community,
Great schools are built on a committed community. Lawrence Township is one of those communities and has a long history of supporting strong public schools, evidenced in part by the facilities built years ago to carry out our core mission of educating all of our talented and diverse students.
Due to this long and unwavering commitment, I want to make sure that you are informed about proposals for facilities improvements starting in 2020 being presented to the Board of Education on April 22 and May 6. In order to continue to maintain the strong fiscal health of the district, it will be our recommendation to the Board of Education that the district pursue its first ever capital referendum in November of 2019 to address facility needs at Lawrence Central High School (LC), Lawrence North High School (LN), Brook Park Elementary, Forest Glen Elementary, Oaklandon Elementary, Winding Ridge Elementary, and our four Early Learning Centers.
Built in 1963, LC has not had a major renovation since 1993. LN, built in 1976, has never had a major renovation, and we fondly refer to it as “original equipment.” Structural issues, safety improvements, and twenty-first century learning environments necessitate action to ensure our schools mirror the excellence expected in the Lawrence Township community. Please note that while our middle school renovations are not a part of this proposed referendum project, they are still scheduled to take place in 2023 as part of our Blue-Ribbon Facilities Plan, and will be completed without any increase in the district’s current debt service fund tax rate.
Community meetings took place in March at both of our high schools, outlining the rationale for the referendum, the proposed work, and projected impact on taxpayers. If you were unable to attend any of those meetings, the recordings of them are available here
. The Board of Education will vote in an open and public session on this proposed project and financing on May 6, 2019.
Many of our public school colleagues across Indiana are in financial situations requiring operating referenda to assist with covering day-to-day expenses. In fact, all but one of the districts around us has successfully engaged in at least one such operating referendum. Thanks to the work of our administrative team and community’s support, we are in a strong financial position, and while we do anticipate pursuing a capital referendum for the proposed project, we are not pursuing any operating referendum in the next few years.
Each day, 16,035 students are enrolled in our schools. Their families realize that our Lawrence Township Schools are the right choice, the right investment, and will provide the right foundation for their future. We will keep you posted as the proposed referendum project moves forward and will update you once a referendum link is available on our district website.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building principal, our Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Rodger Smith, or to my office directly.
Dr. Shawn A. Smith, Superintendent of Schools