Bond Issue Vote Underway

Mail in voting underway for the $10.28 million Weeping Water School Bond Election. Voters in the district have until October 11th to decide if they want expansion and renovation of the existing school building. The plan, which adds about 68,000 square feet, “brings all students under one roof,” says Weeping Water Superintendent Brian Gegg. The community also gets a new fitness center arrangement if the bond passes.

The Cassgram reports that community study groups addressed building issues over the last few years. A group met several times in 2008 but decided against proposing a bond issue at the time because of the slumping economy. That group had also decided that expanding and improving the current building was preferred over a new building because of the extra costs of land acquisition and new infrastructure.

Another study group met four times this year and decided that today’s economic climate—low interest rates and the likelihood of competitive bids—was the right time for a bond issue. The board of education concurred in August and now the issue is before voters.

Eight new elementary classrooms would be added and all portable classrooms would be eliminated. New chemistry, biology and family science classrooms would be added for the high school. The plans include a new library, a new competition gym (keeping the old gym for practices and some games), wrestling room, locker room and expanded commons and cafeteria areas. School security, traffic flow for student drop-off points and parking would be improved.

Energy efficient heating and air conditioning (eliminating the window units) improvements are also part of the plan.

Of interest not only to students but to the community is the addition of a new fitness/weight room and walking track, something that would be available to community members for $5 a year (the cost of the key).

The design also anticipates the need for future expansion if needed, says Gegg. The student population has stayed between 365 to 380 students over the past several years.

The anticipated tax impact with the 20 year bonds is 26 to 28 cents per $100 valuation, says Gegg. An information packet being circulated around the district shows the monthly property tax increase on a $100,000 home would be $23.34 (at 28 cents).

It is a mail-in election. You are reminded that the ballot must be signed to be accepted. There is a system in place at the county election commissioner’s office to assure ballot secrecy.

The last successful bond issue was in 1991. A bond issue failed in Weeping Water in 1997.

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