Archive for Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Tonganoxie USD 464 scheduling informational open houses for proposed new high school campus

This is an overall view of what a new Tonganoxie High School could look like if a bond issue were to pass with an mail-in ballot issue election in a few months.

This is an overall view of what a new Tonganoxie High School could look like if a bond issue were to pass with an mail-in ballot issue election in a few months.

July 10, 2019

Tonganoxie USD 464 will be offering informational meetings about the proposed $51.4 million bond issue that would fund an overhaul of the Tonganoxie High School campus.

Stephanie Meyer with DLR Group spoke to the school board at Monday’s regular meeting about some plans for meetings and tours at THS for patrons, along with a series of mailers to educate the public on the proposed project.

Community meetings will consist of an architect, contractor, finance expert and district administrator at individual tables answering questions from the public. Tours of the campus also will be given. The informational meetings will be 6-8 p.m. July 23, 7:30-9:30 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. July 24 and 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 3.

Meyer said officials scheduled the variety of times and dates to help accommodate varying schedules of patrons.

“Get folks into the school and see what the situation is,” she said.

DLR group also will have posters at the school with rack cards that patrons can take. The cards have a list of frequently asked questions and other info about the project.

Patrons Jake Dale and Todd Geiger also spoke to the board about their efforts as members of the Tongie Strong committee. The group is campaigning for the passage of the bond issue.

Per law, the district cannot take a position on the bond issue, but can offer information on the proposed issue.

Dale said the group planned to be visible in the community through appearances at the Leavenworth County Fair and the fair parade, along with other events.

The organization also is making shirts for proponents to wear, along with yard signs favoring passage of the question.

The slogan for the drive is Tongie Strong: Our kids. Our Future.

There also plans for more social media presence. The group already has a Facebook page, but is exploring other social media options and plans to have a website.

“Yards signs don’t win bonds,” Dale said. “But the outreach and the grass roots effort does. That’s what we’re trying to focus on and build the “yes” to get their “yes” votes in time.

Superintendent Loren Feldkamp said Monday that it was “99.99 percent” likely that State Board of Education would approve the district’s proposed bond issue at its board meeting, which was Tuesday in Topeka at the state board office.

The election schedule would go as follows: Aug. 15 deadline for voter registration if voters in the school district are not yet registered in the district or have other reasons to update their registration. Registration also can be done online at ksvotes.org.

All registered voters then would automatically receive a ballot by mail starting Aug. 16.

Deadline for ballots to be returned to the County Clerk’s office would be noon Sept. 5.

If patrons have questions about the election, they can call the office of County Clerk Janet Klasinski at 913-684-0419.

The bond issue for the proposed $51.4 million bond would come with a 3-mill increase for homeowners, which means that, for instance, a $150,000 home would have an increase of $4.31 each month in taxes.

The project would bring major changes to the THS campus. A new gymnasium would be built in the area of the school east of the current main entrance. There would be a new cafeteria, new classrooms and other amenities, with the central office moving from the medal building near the highway to the current west campus building.

USD 464 personnel recommendations approved

Contracts and other work agreements, along with resignations and a retirement, were approved at Monday’s school board meeting.

Contracts and work agreements were approved for Anthony Rashid, Tonganoxie High School boys basketball assistant coach; Stacy Crook-Collinge, THS band aide; Stacy Emmot, THS math; Carley Smith, TMS seventh-grade volleyball head coach; and Benjamin Morrow, TMS assistant wrestling coach.

Resignations were approved for Parker Ast, Tonganoxie Middle School assistant wrestling coach; Morgan Oroke, TMS assistant volleyball coach; and Courtney Clark, Tonganoxie/Basehor-Linwood Special Education Cooperative school psychologist.

Debra Korb’s retirement also was approved as part of the consent agenda Monday night. Korb served as Tonganoxie Elementary School bread baker/kitchen utility.

Bothwell, Gratton to remain president, VP

The board made its appointments for the 2019-20 school year.

Jim Bothwell will remain board president for another year and Chris Gratton vice president, per the board’s vote Monday.

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