Millard moving forward with school bond issue

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 6:36 PM CST
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Millard public schools move forward with a bond issue. Between now and the May 12th vote, the district will be educating voters on how the 125-million dollars would be spent.

Since 1958, voters in the Millard Public School District have rejected only one school bond. One of the groups who helped defeat it is now giving its blessing for the latest plan to renovate schools.

Notice anything unusual about Norris Elementary? The outdoor feels-like temperature is in single digits, yet one of the windows is open.

"Yes, there are some windows open in the middle of winter. Because it heats so unevenly and should be a lot more efficient," said Chad Meisigeier.

Down the hall next to the flaking paint, a first-grade classroom with a similar problem. A box fan operating on January 21st.

"If approved by voters, Norris will be a complete remodel."

Millard Public Schools is asking voters to approve 125-million dollars in bonds in May.

The biggest price tags will be the Norris and Cody elementary remodel. Both buildings are 56-years old. Central Middle School will also be renovated and repaired. And Millard South will get a more secure entrance similar to what Millard North has.

Millard schools have an unlikely ally when it comes to the bonds.

Watchdog group Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom support the bond, the same group that fought against a Millard bond that suffered defeat in 2011 for being frivolous.

Doug Kagan says this plan is necessary and isn't full of fluff.

Kagan said, “No other school district has invited us in like that. We walk into other school district meetings like OPS and it's like we brought the bubonic plague with us. We're not very popular."

Beyond renovations, the lights and the decades-old heating and cooling system will become more efficient.

"A lot of things they're doing may seem expensive at first, but they'll pay for themselves in the long run," said Kagan.

If approved, no one will need to open a window in the dead of winter. It would also be an extra 20-dollars a year on a 200-thousand dollar home.

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