As the district implements the Be The Best Initiative, we want our employees and community members to know that the district will be responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to them to deliver world class education in Ottumwa.
Just over $21 million will be dedicated to capital projects and building improvements over the next two years. Funds for these projects will come from additional Physical Plant & Equipment resources approved by voters in November as well as sales tax revenues and federal funds dedicated to schools through the Cares Act and the American Rescue Plan.
Projects are scheduled across all district buildings as part of the Be The Best initiative, including renovations to our northside elementary facilities, Evans Middle School, Ottumwa High School, an addition at Pickwick Early Childhood Center, the new Career Campus; a multi-purpose addition at Evans Middle School; and a new central warehouse, concessions and rest rooms at Walsh Field.
The initiative also impacts building budgets for supplies and equipment. The district will maintain the 5% increase provided last year along with a 2.4% increase for the 2021/22 school year. "The district is committed to providing our staff with the resources necessary to meet the needs of our students," said John Berg, the district's Chief Financial Officer.
"The Ottumwa Schools remain in a strong financial position that will allow us to continue improving the instructional program offered to our students while we strive to Be The Best," said Berg. The Iowa Association of School Boards recommends schools maintain a solvency ratio of 5% - 15%. "This is a target that we are able to maintain and exceed as we project the district's solvency ratio of 17%-23% over the next five years," said Berg.