USD 464 eyes bond issue
A roughly $30 million bond issue could be on the ballot for local voters in November. Roughly $9 million of that would come from the state if the bond were to pass.
At its June 11 meeting, the Tonganoxie USD 464 School Board expressed its interest in looking closer at an option presented to put before voters.
HTK Architects presented preliminary proposals, one of which would provide for a kindergarten-through-fifth elementary school near Tonganoxie Middle School with an estimated cost of $30 million. The breakdown is as follows: $23 million for building construction, $4 million for design and other soft costs and about $3 million for possible infrastructure needs such as roads.
Superintendent Randy Weseman said the mill increase for the bond was based on $18 million — estimated cost of the facility after the state contribution — and what the special assessment would be for the infrastructure.
The current elementary school would become a mixed-use building. Some potential uses to be explored for the current elementary school if a new school were built: overflow classrooms for future growth needs in the district, shared space with City Hall, possible library needs, a community center, board of education needs, district special needs cooperative, parks and recreation, possible community college classrooms and virtual school.
The capacity of the proposed new building would be 1,200 students. Under the configuration, the middle school would become a 6-8 building. Currently, TES houses kindergarten through fourth grade and TMS is 5-8.
The current population at TES is 715, with ideal capacity being 616. At TMS, current population is 572 and ideal is 625. And at the high school campus, current population is 572 with ideal capacity being 800.
Other options presented at the meeting:
• Adding classrooms to the current elementary school and making handicapped accessibility upgrades to bathrooms in the current school. Also, adding eight classrooms — two on each wing — at TMS. Capacity: 682 at TES and 825 at TMS.
Estimated cost: $7 million.
• Building a grades 3-5 intermediate school near TMS for roughly $15 million and making the aforementioned upgrades to TES.
Capacity: 616 at TES, 650 at the intermediate school and 625 at TMS.
Estimated cost: $17 million.
The board next will meet July 9. If the board approves a resolution for the bond issue at that time, it would allow enough time for the measure to be put on the November ballot.
Voters said no to a $26.9 million bond issue in April 2011 that would have provided expansions at all three USD 464 campuses. Board members have said the current bond issue discussion needed to be focused solely on an overcrowded TES.
Inadvertently omitted from the June 13 print edition was the board’s decision not to renew the contracts of Heidi Kate Andre, TES art teacher, and William Gibbs, math teacher for sixth through eighth grades.
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