COLUMBUS, KS – Thanks to Tuesday’s election, a long awaited infrastructure upgrade will finally become reality for the Columbus School District.
“They see the need, this is the same building that my parents went to school in, not much changed.” Says Taylor Spear, Central Elementary & Jr. High Teacher.
On Tuesday, the Columbus School District’s proposed 14.75 million dollar bond project was approved.
“Over 70 percent of the voters supported it. About six years ago they tried another bond issue and it failed. I think it was almost in reverse.” Says Brian Smith, Columbus USD 493 Superintendent.
Officials say the success came from an open dialogue with the public about the safety benefits of turning Central Elementary and Jr. High School into an indoor campus.
“Today is a little bit different than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Right now with our campus being wide open, anybody can walk in. It’s super scary to think about as a parent that anybody could be outside. So just the fact that my kids are going to be safe, it was a big selling point for us.” Says Kelly Walters, Parent of 3.
The new project will be a huge step in the district in protecting teachers, students, and community members from natural disasters.
“Where I’m at in the sixth grade building, we go outside and we go to the new gym and take cover in the locker rooms. With the bond we’re going to be adding two storm shelters, one at the high school and one here at central. With the new one we’ll make a short walk down the hallway and be in the cafeteria.” Spear says.
With Corner Greer signed on as Architect and Crossland for Construction, Columbus could soon see development, starting with the addition of a 7th grade wing to the high school.
“The high school we’re hoping maybe around December. For everything to be completed, it should be the summer going into the 23/24 school year.” Smith says.