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Why is it necessary to raise private funds for Johnson Elementary School?

Our community came together in 2018 to successfully lobby our state representatives and get a $7.6M special offer (one of only two schools to receive any facilities funding) and a change in statute language to extend the bond repayment schedule so we could double the amount we could borrow for the project. In addition to maximizing the bonding opportunity, the School Board voted to commit an additional $1.7 million toward the project to ensure its completion.  

It is important to note that there was a deadline on the receipt of the state grant and the terms of our loans, which required the School Board to begin construction by December 2019.

Even with all of these efforts by you, our state representatives and the School Board, we are still a little bit short to ensure the new Johnson Elementary school meets the facility standards our teachers, students and community expect.


What items are not currently included due to the funding gap?

The School Board worked closely with the architects and builders to identify alternate items that could easily be added back into the project if additional funding was obtained. Some items like upgraded flooring and millwork require more urgent funding due to the timing of including them in the construction project. Others, like landscaping, acoustic tiles and bathroom wall tiles can be added at any time during or after the project.

Item                                                                            Benefit(s)

Acoustic Wall Panels in Cafeteria                                           Decreases noise, promotes learning


Durable wall covering in corridors and restrooms                   Aesthetic, decrease damage to drywall


Landscaping                                                                            Aesthetic, ground protection, drainage

Millwork & Carpentry                                                               Makes the building more inviting, inrporates craftsman style inside


Security Cameras                                                             School & student safety

Terrazzo flooring (cafeteria & hallway)                             Decreased maintenance cost, longer replacement time, FTIS standard

Translucent panels to handrails in main areas                 Aesthetics, FTIS standard

Upgraded ceiling option                                                   Aesthetics, FTIS standard


What happens if only a portion of the funds are raised?

The School Board and Foundation have worked together to carefully prioritize all of the alternate items on the list. Our collective goal is to find funding for as many of the items as possible to ensure that the new Johnson Elementary is a beautiful, state-of-the-art school building just like all the others across our district. For any items that cannot be funded during the construction, the School Board and Foundation will continue to work to fund ‘after-market’ solutions once construction is complete.

Is it possible to name a room or space in the new Johnson Elementary School?

Yes. All gifts to the Campaign for Johnson will be recognized in a meaningful way. Gifts of $25,000 or greater will be recognized with individual site plaques at Johnson Elementary School (or any other FTIS building) and your name will be displayed in the appropriate Lifetime Giving Circle on the Major Donor Recognition Wall in the main lobby of Highlands High School. Since the FTEF tracks cumulative giving, you can graduate from one level to a higher level at any time (with recognition in the FTEF Annual Report).  Additionally, families making a gift of $25,000 or greater will receive VIP access during the Ribbon Cutting event at the completion of the project.


How can I contribute?

Gifts to the Campaign for Johnson – the Final Piece of the Puzzle – may be made in the form of cash, stock transfer, property and insurance, as well as a variety of planned options that may be beneficial to you and the Campaign. We suggest you seek the advice of your accountant or attorney prior to making a final decision to gain the maximum tax advantage of your gift.