Tonganoxie USD 464 board OKs proposed bond plan, state paperwork
Tonganoxie USD 464 is moving closer to asking voters to consider a bond issue that would revamp the Tonganoxie High School campus and considerably change its landscape.
A few members from the proposed bond issue’s vision team spoke to the school board at a special meeting monday with the vision committee’s suggestion for what the new school would encompass.
Jake Dale, vision team member spoke to the board about the process, which has spanned more than two months.
With DLR Group facilitating the meetings and offering various options for the school’s potential new makeup, Dale said the group’s consensus was to present a $51.5 million bond issue to voters.
After vision team members and DLR representatives fielded questions about the proposed plan, such as traffic flow, parking capacity and so on, the board approved, 7-0, submitting paperwork to the state for the proposed bond issue.
If the state signs off on the district’s application, the district would present a question ballot in the coming months to USD 464 patrons. If the bond issue were to pass, the project likely would start around May 2020 and finish up in August 2021.
The bond issue would come with a slight increase in property taxes. Dale said a home valued at $150,000 would see a monthly increase of $4.31 or $51.75 annually.
Dale said the vision team looked at ways to avoid a tax increase. He said the group was cognizant of that, but felt that this plan was fiscally responsible.
“At the end of the whole exercise, fiscally responsible meant more than doing it inexpensively,” he said. “It meant more than doing it for as little as possible.We talked about not putting band-aids on the problems.”
The new school would have a new regulation-size competition gymnasium, additional performing arts classrooms, a two-story learning center and some modifications to the most recent renovation to the school in 2004. The original portion of the school, the east wing of east campus, would be torn down. The new gymnasium would be built there, with the two-story learning center to be built to the west of the current performing arts center. The former church that is used for classrooms and IT would be torn down. The west campus would be renovated for district offices and other rooms, including space that could be leased out for satellite learning, such as a community college or four-year institution. There also could be the possibility of the other one-third of the building being used for Tonganoxie Recreation Commission services.
The original layout had the configuration with the two-story learning center to the east where the oldest portion of the school currently stands, but a committee of THS teachers preferred that the gymnasium and learning center be flipped.
Board Member Drew Overmiller said he liked the updated configuration because it kept the gymnasiums together and almost separate from other portions of the building, which was a plus for security reasons.
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. May 13.