Future Ready Ralston Bond Update
On October 12, 2021, Ralston residents made it clear that education matters with the passing of the Future Ready Ralston Bond Initiative. Since that time, District officials have been working hard to move forward on various projects included in the bond issue. This page is dedicated to providing updates to our community on projects associated with Future Ready Ralston.
August 31, 2023 Update
We are starting to see some significant impact from the Future Ready Ralston Bond Issue.
• Meadows Elementary: The interior renovations and campus cement work are nearly complete at Meadows Elementary. Construction crews are just finishing up punch-list items at the school. Both students and staff have settled into their fresh, new building.
• Karen Western Elementary: The home of the Cardinals had significant work done this summer, including a partial roofing project, new drywall, paint, light fixtures, an alarm system, cameras, classroom technology and sound enhancement system, cement work to the main entrance and portions of the parking lot, and a new HVAC system. Next summer, the Cardinals will receive the finishing touches to their interior renovations. Crews will be in to replace the carpet and flooring throughout the school. Students and staff are also enjoying their newly renovated school.
• Ralston Middle School: RMS is near the end of its HVAC replacement project, and the change in air quality is very noticeable.
• Mockingbird Elementary: Work continues on the construction of our newest building, Mockingbird Elementary. The walls are almost in place, and the construction company is right on schedule to have windows and doors in the building by the end of October. If we continue to see favorable weather, the new Mockingbird will open in the summer of 2024.
• Wildewood Elementary: The home of the wildcats is currently going through the interior renovation construction process, similar to Meadows Elementary, and is scheduled to be completed by late November or early December.
• Ralston High School Multi Sport Complex: Work continues on the Multi-Sport complex at Ralston High School. The facility will be ready for softball this fall, as the Rams will play their first game on their new field on Tuesday, September 5th. The baseball field area may finish as early as the end of October.
• Blumfield Elementary: The bobcats will start their interior renovation in January of 2024, with an anticipated completion date by spring fo 2024.
• Our Phase 2 of the Bond Issue projects are currently in the planning stages. Those include Seymour, Ralston Middle, and Ralston High School.February 2023 Update
• Mockingbird Elementary - Progress continues on the new Mockingbird Elementary School. Construction crews have poured the lower level floor, which will take several weeks to set. Wall frames are currently ready on the upper level. Depending on the weather, concrete walls will be poured soon. It will take two weeks for the walls to set. After that, construction crews will begin the tilt-up process and set the walls in place.
• Meadows Elementary - District and school staff continue to work through and prepare for the move to the Westside Community Center during spring break in April. A transportation plan has been put together for families who requested transportation to and from the Westside Community Center. Click HERE to view the details of the transportation plan.
There will be NO SCHOOL for ONLY Meadows Elementary students on March 30 and 31st, to allow time for staff members to pack up their classrooms.
There will be NO SCHOOL for ONLY Meadows Elementary students on April 10th, to allow time for staff members to set up their classrooms.
• Karen Western Elementary - Phase 1 of the school renovation will take place this summer. Phase 1 includes new paint, lighting, classroom technology and sound enhancement system, school intercom, and HVAC system. Phase 2 will take place during the summer of 2024 and includes the new flooring for the entire school.
• Wildewood Elementary - Renovation plans are finalized, and construction bids have been advertised. A video walk-through (CLICK HERE TO VIEW) from BCDM architects is available for our community to get a picture of what Wildewood will look like after renovation.
• Blumfield Elementary - Initial discussions have begun with District officials and architects on the new interior design of the school.
• Ralston Middle School - Some of our subcontractors have been in before school hours to work on the school's HVAC system. Additional work on the replacement of the school’s HVAC system will take place this summer.
• Ralston High School Multi-Sport Complex - Rough grading of the new complex is complete. The foundation of the concession stand/press box area is poured. Holes have been dug, and light poles are set for the softball and baseball field areas. Work will continue to progress as weather allows.December 2022 UpdateNew Mockingbird Elementary Construction Video
Exciting things are happening on the new Mockingbird Elementary School! During the second week of this month, the floor on the school's main level was being poured!
The Wildewood Elementary School interior renovation plans have been finalized by the architect and general contractor. To view the final plans, please click on the following LINK.
Wildewood Elementary will be the second of the three schools to receive an entire interior renovation. This process will start at Wildewood in August of 2023 and will conclude in December of 2023. Wildewood Elementary teachers and students will hold school at the Westside Community Center to start the 2023-2024 school year. They will move back into their newly renovated school in January 2024.
At the Board of Education meeting on Monday, December 12, 2022, the Board approved the technology bid package for Meadows Elementary School. The RPS Director of Technology and Assistant Superintendent for Business have been working through the development of specifications and the competitive bid process to purchase and install classroom technology systems for each classroom within the newly renovated Meadows Elementary School.
The approved technology bid package from KCAV includes fourth-generation, clear-touch Boxlight interactive technology boards for each classroom. Depending on the classroom setting, boards will vary in size from 65 to 85 inches.
The bid package also includes an audio enhancement system for every classroom. The system will improve the teaching environment, as teachers will wear microphones. An educator's instruction, directions, and lessons will be better heard throughout the classroom, no matter where a student is located.
The final pieces of the technology bid package include a school intercom and speaker system, to better improve school communication and safety. The classroom audio and visual technology package will be replicated throughout every school in the District.
The interior renovation construction process on Meadows Elementary will start this spring. Renovations are set to be completed by the start of the 2023-2024 school year. To accomplish this, Meadows Elementary teachers and students will begin holding school at the Westside Community Center (WCC) after spring break. The Meadows staff recently toured the WCC to familiarize themselves with the facility.November 2022 UpdateRalston High School Multi-Sport Complex
Demolition and excavation work has started. A pre-construction meeting was held on the complex with subcontractors for field work, electrical, utilities, and earthwork all being identified. The goal is to have the project mostly completed by the fall of 2023. It will allow the Rams to play softball on campus next fall. The RHS baseball team will play one more year at Orval Smith this spring and should be able to play their spring/summer season of 2024 at the new Multi-Sport Complex.
Meadows Elementary Interior Renovation: The initial bids for the interior renovations for Meadows Elementary are nearly complete and should be available by the Board of Education meeting on November 14th. A transportation survey has been distributed to Meadows parents to determine the transportation needs to the Westside Community Center transition site this spring.
BCDM Architects have developed a fly-through video to visually show how the school will look once the interior renovations are complete. The video shows the secure entrance to the school, main office, cafeteria, library, art room, and an example of a classroom.
Wildewood Elementary Interior Renovation
BCDM Architects and District Administration presented a draft plan for the interior renovation to Wildewood staff to gather input several weeks ago. They recently had a follow-up meeting with the Principal to review the input from the presentation.
Karen Western Elementary Foundation RepairWestside Community Center Transition Site
A contractor has been secured for the school’s foundation repair project, which will be underway shortly. The timeline to finish this project is quick and it will be completed in a matter of days once started, depending on the weather conditions. It will also cause little to no interruption to the learning environment.
Administration and school leaders from Meadows, Wildewood, and Blumfield Elementary Schools met and discussed logistics about the temporary transition to the Westside Community Center during their interior renovations. Our District’s Food Service staff have toured the center along with the Douglas County Health Inspector to make sure the kitchen is ready to go for the Meadows transition this spring.August 2022 Update
This fall, there will be significant movement on several of the Future Ready Ralston Bond Issue projects.
Weitz Construction has been very busy on the Mockingbird Elementary site. Last week, the company finished the installation of the new school’s geopiers. The Geopier System is a ground improvement method that prestrains and prestresses the soil using soil “replacement” and soil “displacement” technology to strengthen soft soil and loose soil with very dense, stiff, rock columns constructed by heavy equipment crowd force and vertical impact ramming. This process will provide a solid foundation for the new school.
Ralston High School Multi-Sport Complex
Plans are complete and the pre-bid walkthrough has taken place for the Ralston High School Multi-Sport Complex. The project will be open for bid very soon, with construction set to start this fall. The goal is to have the project mostly complete by the fall of 2023. It will allow for the Rams to play softball on campus next fall. The RHS baseball team will play one more year at Orval Smith this spring and should be able to play their spring/summer season of 2024 at the new Multi-Sport Complex.
• RPS is working on finalizing the HVAC contract for work to begin at Ralston Middle School and Karen Western Elementary.
• RPS is soliciting a second bid for foundation repair work at Karen Western Elementary.
• Interior renovation plans and scope of work are finalized for Meadows Elementary School. Next up will be taking the project out to bid, with construction to start in late spring.
School Board Action - Retirement of Bonds
At the Monday, August 22, 2022 Board of Education meeting, the Board voted unanimously to execute advanced payment on the District’s QSCB and QCPUF limited bonds. It was a promise made by our Board of Education to the taxpayers of Ralston Public Schools during the Future Ready Ralston Bond Issue campaign.
The Board of Education is proud to be able to accomplish this for the District’s taxpayers. By retiring this debt early, it provides savings to our citizens by not paying any future interest payments on these limited bonds.The Ralston Public Schools Board of Education prides itself on a continued commitment to sound financial policy and practice. The Board carefully monitors the District’s finances in order to most effectively staff buildings and keep facilities and operations functioning efficiently.
Updated August 22, 2022June 2022 UpdateNew Mockingbird Elementary
Construction of the new Mockingbird Elementary School is about to begin as construction crews from Weitz are on the school property setting up their equipment and construction area. Major excavation, grading, and installation of the new school’s footings will take place this summer.
Due to the type of work happening this summer, there will be no campus access once construction starts (June) through July and early August before the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Campus access and limited playground space will be available once the school year begins. This will be a two-year construction process, with a completion date of Fall 2024.
A virtual tour of the new Mockingbird Elementary is available from BCDM Architects, Click HERE to view the virtual tour. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the District Administration Office at 402-331-4700.Karen Western Elementary and Ralston Middle School
The District is close to finalizing the HVAC projects at Karen Western Elementary and Ralston Middle School. Over the next several weeks, the project will go out for bid and those submitted will be reviewed by District Administration. The recommended contract will be presented and awarded at the July 25th Board of Education meeting. Initial work will begin in late fall of 2022, with the bulk of work happening during the summer of 2023.Meadows Elementary Interior Renovation
The District, BCDM Architects, and Weitz Construction are very close to finalizing the building renovation design for Meadows Elementary. When ready, building materials will start to be purchased. The project currently remains on schedule with renovation work set to begin in May 2023.
Weitz will be on the Meadows campus several weeks before setting up their construction area and prepping the building for renovation. This pre-work will not interfere with the regular school day activities. The projected completion of the Meadows Elementary renovation is August of 2023.
The District Technology team is close to finalizing a base technology package that will be standard for every classroom in the District. The technology package will also include sound amplification technology for every classroom and a new intercom/bell system for each school.Ralston High School Multi-Sport Complex
Ralston Public Schools is close to finishing the development of a community multi-sport complex on the Ralston High School campus. The project will include field space for sports such as baseball, softball, soccer, football, field events for track & field, and cross country.
The multi-sport complex will include a press box, concession stand, restrooms, batting cages, seating, and lights. Location of the complex will be on the south side of the RHS campus. The multi-sport complex will be utilized by Ralston High School and local community athletic teams and organizations.
Updated June 17, 2022
March 2022 Update
Construction Manager at Risk - The Weitz Company
Through a recommendation from an advisory group and approval from the Board of Education, Ralston Public Schools has come to terms with The Weitz Company as the official Construction Manager at Risk for construction of the new Mockingbird Elementary and the interior renovations of Blumfield, Meadows, and Wildewood Elementary Schools. Representatives from Weitz have been meeting weekly with District officials and lead architects from BCDM Architects. They will provide RPS with a higher level of cost control from the very beginning of the construction process. With Weitz being heavily involved with our decision-making and design phase of the project, they can bridge the design and build phases of the project. Weitz will help reduce schedule delays and cost overruns, keeping the project on schedule and staying within the determined budget.
Construction to Start this Spring
Bond projects will start with the construction of the new Mockingbird Elementary and the interior renovations of Blumfield, Meadows, and Wildewood Elementary Schools. At Mockingbird Elementary, crews have surveyed the property and collected soil samples. Architectural meetings have taken place to discuss building layout, design, and site plan. We have also met with current Mockingbird staff to gather feedback on the building's initial design.
BCDM, Weitz, and RPS are close to finalizing architectural and site plans for the new Mockingbird Elementary. In April, the RPS community will see the construction process start on the Mockingbird campus. This will be a two-year construction process for the new building, with a completion date of April 2024. Demolition of the old Mockingbird Elementary will take place in June of 2024 and will be completed in October.
Interior Remodels Meadows, Blumfield, and Wildewood Elementary Schools
BCDM has started to provide RPS with more detailed building designs on the interior remodels of Blumfield, Meadows, and Wildewood Elementary Schools for review. The first school to be remodeled will be Meadows Elementary. A meeting will soon take place with current Meadows staff to gather feedback on the building's initial design. BCDM, Weitz, and RPS will then refine and finalize the interior school renovation design. The Meadows remodel is scheduled to start in May of 2023, with some preliminary site work happening a couple of months before. All of the major work done should be completed by August of 2023, before the start of the 2023-2024 school year. There will also be some work still being completed as school is in session, but will not interfere with day-to-day school activities.
The same process will take place with Blumfield and Wildewood Elementary Schools. Interior renovations will start on these elementary schools in May of 2024, with a completion date of August 2024. The Weitz construction crew will be also on-site a couple of months before and after to prepare for construction and put the finishing touches on each project.
With Weitz being able to complete each of these interior renovations over the summer months, the old Mockingbird Elementary school will no longer be an elementary swing site. Students will be able to continue attending their neighborhood school.
Lower Interest Rate for Initial Bond Funds
Through discussions and work with the District Bond Advisor, the Board of Education approved the sale of an initial set of bonds from the recent election. RPS was able to close the sale of an initial $40 million at a 2.29% interest rate. This rate was well below what was projected in our presentations to the community. This will ultimately save the District taxpayer money on half of the bond funds associated with the projects.
Update March 2, 2022