Following Tuesday’s election, administrators in two area school districts are celebrating, while in another they are taking a look at what to do next.
In Iola, KS, voters said yes to three separate questions, allowing the district to consolidate the district’s three elementary schools into one building, build a new stem facility at the high school, and complete HVAC remodeling at the middle school. Administrators say they have chosen a site for the new elementary school, and are in the process of taking possession of the land. They say that facility will likely be completed in 2020, but they say first, there is work that needs to be done to the site.
“This site was formerly a zinc smelter site at the turn of the century, but we are working with KDHE and the EPA with some remediation that will need to be done to this site,” Fager says.
In the Cassville school district, “Vision 150” was also approved by voters last night. Money generated by the bond will be used to build and expand early childhood programs, renovate a facility built in the 1930’s and allow for continued focus on security upgrades and ADA playground accessibility. The question passed with 75% approval, and superintendent Dr. Richard Asbill says the first priority will be the renovation project for first and second grade classrooms. That work should be done by August first of this year. A construction project to add on to the elementary school building will likely begin in late summer of this year, and wrap up in late summer of 2020.
Meanwhile, administrators in the Mt. Vernon school district say they are taking a look at their options following a defeat at the polls last night. “Proposition Mt’neer Strong” fell just eight votes short of passing, getting 56.5% of the vote. The bond would have allowed the district to borrow $10 million for maintenance projects and expand early childhood education programs, along with creating a centralized district office. Administrators say with such a close vote, they believe there is strong support in the community. They are hoping to have a plan in place in the next few weeks. That could include putting it on the ballot again in August or possibly waiting until next April.