Is your district seeking approval of a bond referendum to finance school renovation or construction projects? Horan Communications has designed and executed successful community engagement campaigns to educate voters about the need, opportunity, and finances associated with major school facilities projects.

While public officials cannot actively campaign for a “yes” vote, school district leaders have an important role to play in informing the community about the details of a proposed building project, include its scope, educational value, and fiscal impact on taxpayers. A comprehensive public information and engagement campaign – including media strategy, print materials, online tools, and in-person opportunities for presentation and discussion – is essential to helping voters make an informed decision.   

Our recent school facilities projects include the following: 

  • In partnership with Gilbane Building Company, Horan Communications led a comprehensive public information campaign for the East Providence (RI) School District on a bond referendum for the new East Providence High School. The six-month campaign provided residents with extensive information about the $189.5-million project through an interactive website, social media, branded posters and mailers, FAQs, press outreach, community engagement events, and other strategies. In November 2018, voters overwhelmingly approved the project, with 78% voting in favor. We provided the district additional support after the referendum vote, including periodic email and social media updates and a groundbreaking ceremony in June 2019. 
  • We also helped the Barrington (RI) Public Schools launch a successful public information campaign to secure financing for its new $68 million middle school, one of the first schools built under Rhode Island’s new statewide school facilities initiative. The ballot question passed with 64% of the vote.
  • Our public information campaign about a proposal for $21.44 million in facilities improvements for the Portsmouth (RI) Public Schools resulted in a 63% favorable referendum vote in November 2021.
  • Horan Communications served as the lead communications consultant for the City of Boston and Boston Public Schools on Phase I of BuildBPS, an educational and facilities master plan to invest $1 billion in school buildings. Our work included writing and editing of a report to the community, summarizing 18 months of data collection and analysis about building conditions, demographic trends, educational priorities, and financing options. The project also included extensive community participation, through surveys and public engagement events, to gather input from families and staff. Horan Communications provided support in media relations, messaging, event planning, publicity, and digital strategy. 

If your community is preparing for a school facilities bond referendum, contact us to talk about your needs, and we’ll work with you to customize strategies that achieve your goals and stay within your budget.