Archive for Thursday, May 5, 2005

DAC decides to promote new school bond issue

May 5, 2005

Although Basehor-Linwood school district officials have determined they won't seek voter approval for a $23.3 million bond issue until this fall -- at the earliest -- an informational campaign to promote the bond issue will proceed.

The school district's decision to continue planning and promotion of the bond issue comes at the direction of the District Advisory Council -- a group of school district patrons that has met and discussed bond plans with school officials for the last 18 months.

¢ The final meeting of the school year for the Basehor-Linwood District Advisory Council is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 23, at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School.

¢ At the meeting, members will discuss what roles they will fill in bond committees.

¢ They plan to resume bond discussions in the fall.

In short, DAC members believe in the plan and want to help sell it to the public.

"The plan DAC has come up with is very fiscally responsible, and it provides enough room for the growth we know is coming," said Traci Mayberry, DAC member. "With this plan we are trying to be proactive, rather than reactive. I think it is wise to wait until September and see what the enrollment numbers are. The DAC is committed to exploring ways to try to determine the priorities of the community and doing what they believe is in the best interest of all the district's students and teachers."

Debbie Breuer, a member of the DAC and president of the Basehor Chamber of Commerce, agreed with Mayberry that educating patrons on the bond issue should continue.

"This plan was given a lot of thought and wasn't just put together over night; it really represents a team effort, not just my opinion, but opinions from all over the district, Basehor, Linwood and in between," Breuer said. "It is evident that more people will be moving in as the houses are being built right now. We need to take a good look at the actual number of bodies in the school on September 20. Until then, I think we need to stay on track and continue to educate the public."

Last week, school district administrators and school board members met in a work session to discuss results from a survey that attempted to gauge the public's interest in supporting the bond issue. According to the school district, only 553 patrons, or 12.9 percent, responded to the 4,292 surveys mailed out.

Roughly 55 percent indicated they would not support the bond issue; 45 percent indicated they would.

After reviewing those results, administrators and board members determined that a bond issue question should not be posed to voters until at least after Sept. 20 -- the date enrollment numbers are finalized by the state.

Following the work session, school officials met with DAC members. Upon hearing the results, advisory group members told school officials they wanted to continue working on the bond issue.

Based on the school district's contentious history when voting on bond issues -- six of seven bond issues have failed since 1990 -- any successful ballot must be preceded by a thorough campaign.

If the bond issue currently under consideration is approved, it would pay for:

  • Four new classrooms, minor remodeling and work to the parking lot and sidewalks at Basehor Elementary School.
  • A new kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school. No decision has been made on where that school would be built.
  • Twenty new classrooms, minor remodeling and work to the parking lots, sidewalks, track and athletic facilities at Basehor-Linwood Middle School.
  • Ten additional classrooms at Linwood Elementary School.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.