Administrators in one southeast school district say a ballot question is about improving school safety and preserving the past.
Angie Naden says it’s hard to draw a line between the community of Coffeyville and the Coffeyville School District.
“The school district is a very vital part of our community,” says Angie Naden.
And her history with the school goes beyond graduating from Field Kindley High School.
“My grandfather graduated in 1943, both of my parents went through the Coffeyville school system from kindergarten through twelve, and both of my children have also,” says Naden.
But Field Kindley and Roosevelt Middle School are more than a century old, forcing Darrel Harbaugh and the rest of the school board to make a decision.
“These are wonderful buildings on the outside and the inside, but they need some modernization and our choice was to either consider building new or remodeling existing facilities,” says Harbaugh.
The history the buildings add to the district, and the price tag of building new facilities made the choice a simple one. The district is asking voters to approve a $25.8 million dollar bond question on the September 7th ballot.
“They weren’t built for the issues we deal with today,” says Harbaugh.
Harbaugh says if approved, the bond would cover several items, with security being at the top of the list.
“As we are concerned in the 21st century more and more every day with harm coming to our students, we need to provide a safe and secure environment,” says Harbaugh.
Harbaugh says the bond would do that in several ways. At Roosevelt Middle School, it would provide an on-site food service facility, something that doesn’t exist right now. Currently kids have to go to a separate building for lunch. And at the Early Learning Center, superintendent Dr. Craig Correll says it would help improve the flow of traffic.
“Parents have to park and walk their three and four year olds into the school. So right now they’re currently parking on the street for blocks all around the school,” says Dr. Craig Correll.
Harbaugh says the bond was designed to provide the most value while costing as low as possible. He says the average home in the district is valued at fifty-thousand dollars.
“A $50,000 homeowner will pay $60 a year,” says Darrel Harbaugh.
Naden says whatever happens, she wants the district to continue to be a part of her family’s story for generations to come.
“We have all of the components in place to have a fantastic school district, but we have to keep investing in our schools in order to have a strong community,” says Angie Naden.