November 23, 2014

USD 230 finalizes school bond information

Mark Taylor
submissions@gardnernews.com

The Spring Hill School Board is shifting its bond issue campaign into high gear.

During a March 28 special meeting, the board reviewed the scope of the proposed bond issue projects as well as informational materials to be distributed to district patrons through the mail and at community events.

“We’re proceeding on as we’ve discussed tonight, putting materials together to share with the community,” said Nels Anderson, board president.  “Nothing is cast in stone for sure.”
Voters will decide the fate of the $39 million bond issue with a mail ballot to be distributed to registered voters on May 18.

The deadline to register to vote is May 6.

Ballots are due at the election office by noon on June 7.

The bond issue, which school officials say will not require an increase in the property tax mill levy, includes several improvements to accommodate a growing enrollment, including:
Expanding Prairie Creek Elementary School to a capacity of 528 students in the fall of 2012.
A new 528-student elementary school on the existing 155-acre high school site, expected to be
completed in the fall of 2013.

Transforming Spring Hill Elementary into a pre-kindergarten to fifth grade facility in the fall of 2013.

Converting the current intermediate school into a sixth grade building by fall of 2013.
The bond issue will also pay for safety enhancements in all schools, district-wide technology upgrades and various maintenance projects.

School officials say the improvements are necessary to meet the demand for classroom space as the district grows by more than 100 students per year.

They also say the bond issue will not result in a mill levy increase because of long-range planning, a 61 percent increase in assessed valuation over the past 10 years, and state aid that will cover 38 cents of every dollar spent.

Fewer than 50 people attended the meeting. No comments were logged when the board opened the floor for public input.

Christine Splichal, district information coordinator, presented a tri-fold brochure that is to be mailed to district patrons.

The mailer addresses the planning that went into the bond issue and the need for district-wide improvements.

A second version of the brochure, which includes district academic achievements, will be distributed at community events.

Splichal said about 6,500 copies of the brochures will be printed (by a local business) at a cost of about $1,465.

Splichal said patrons with questions about the bond issue may contact her directly at (913) 592-7258 or bond@usd230.org.

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