WATCH VIDEO Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com
Special to The Gardner News
A Community Forum was held Thursday evening December 17, 2015 at the Lecture Hall on the Gardner-Edgerton High School campus. The purpose of the forum was to inform the public of details concerning the 2016 Bond Issue for USD 231.
If passed, the Bond would approve a $29.7 million expansion of the High School. USD 231 states that the “bond proposal has been strategically designed to meet all of the above with no additional cost to taxpayers!”
Pam Stranathan, USD 231 Superintendent spent about 35 minutes explaining the details of why the expansion is needed and what would be included in the expansion. Among the improvements are a 28,000 square-foot Advanced Technical Center to meet the needs of students choosing a career in various state-approved technical courses.
Following the Superintendent, Jeremy McFadden, Director of Business and Finance crunched the numbers and explained how this will be paid for and why it should be done now. He explained that 30 percent of the 29.7 million will be paid by the State.
The presentations were supported by a very detailed slideshow, which can be viewed or downloaded as a PDF file from the USD 231 website:
http://www.usd231.com/files/user/1/file/2016%20Bond%20Presentation%20%5BRead-Only%5D.pdf
GEHS will be over capacity very soon if nothing is done. The current building capacity is 1,600 students. There are 1,519 enrolled presently. The population of Gardner continues to grow and that growth challenges the schools.
USD 231 officials have studied the situation for over a year. They believe the plan they are presenting is a financially frugal move that will accommodate the need for expansion without increasing cost to taxpayers.
Voters have until January 12, 2016 to register to vote on the Bond Issue on February 2, 2016.