Bond Election Information / Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions
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a. There are several reasons for moving the 7th-8th grade to the High School. With the lost of enrollment over the last decade the High School is under utilized. We have several empty classrooms as well as other spaces. The High School at its peak enrollment had over 500 students. We currently have 264 students, and even with moving our 7-8 grades to the high school we will add another 140 students and have a total of about 400. We felt with current budget restraints, no new funding coming, and aging facilities it was important to maximize the space we have.
b. Secondly, due to budget cuts over the last several years, several programs and electives at the middle school level have been eliminated. Art, woods, and other elective opportunities are no longer available and we want our students to have access to those programs. By moving them to the HS where we have staff who can offer introductory classes in similar elective fields will increase educational opportunities for students.
c. Similarly, we want to increase educational opportunities for students to achieve at an academic level more than a social level in a 7-12 configuration. We want to challenge ourselves to think outside of the box as far as class offering for students. For example, if a 7th grade student has demonstrated the ability to perform and be challenged in a HS Algebra class why wouldn't we let that happen. By opening doors for students who want to achieve at a high level and be challenged, we feel the educational expectation for all students will rise. I think you will begin to see classes offered for grade spans, instead of specific grades with many classes will probably have a grade span of 3 years. So we might offer a class that normally we would offer as a freshmen level course. However, under this platform that same class could be offered to 8th graders for acceleration and to 10th graders for remediation. In other words, it would be offered for students 8-10. We wouldn't have classes where a 7th grader was in another class with 11th or 12th graders, but could advance higher if that is what teachers and parents think is best for that particular student.
d. Finally, at the end of the day, we will save dollars in closing a building and moving to a 7-12 concept. Not only in annual savings as far as utilities and staffing, but also in overall upkeep. Both the High School and Grant Junior High are old buildings with out of date infrastructure. We would rather renovate and upgrade one building than two, and this move will allow us to do accomplish that
a. Closing Grant Junior High with passage of the bond, was not and will not be an easy decision. It is a good old building that has served this community and its student very well over the year. Once the BOE decided to go to 3 buildings for PK-12 instead of 4, it really came down to Grant, North, or Central and which one of those were we going to utilize.
b. We looked at all three buildings and what they had to offer. One factor was space. Central offered 27,060 sq. ft and 13 classrooms, Grant had 30,367 sq. ft and 13 classrooms, while North elementary had 30,420 sq. ft and 15 classrooms. At the end of the day, North elementary has more classrooms and the appeal of a single level building for elementary age children.
c. We also looked at renovation cost. This is where the fact that Grant is a good "old building" hurts us. It is built like a rock, and because of that when it comes to renovating that building, coupled with the 2 stories, the cost to renovate Grant JH (similarly Central) is much higher than North Elementary.
d. Finally, North Elementary sets on a more viable piece of property now and in the future. The lot is sets on provides more access to outdoor activities and simply is just larger than the other two sites. If we were to ever expand, not that we plan to, North would provide the most space to do that.
a. When we began to research the cost of renovation of the current kitchen, along with addressing code related issues, size, and space, we just determined that it was more feasible to build a new up to date kitchen to serve our students.
b. As well, in order to have built in freezers and coolers complicated matters. In the new design, the built in freezers and coolers are actually on the outside of new structure but accessible from the inside. Should we have to fix or replace them down the road, this will make that much easier and less costly.
a. That is a very complicated issue, but we will do the best we can to explain.
b. By best estimates with considering Water, Sewer, Heat, Electricity, Sanitation, Staff, and general upkeep the savings is approximately $135,000 per year. In just utility cost it is around $60,000 per year. The other savings would be in Staff. Also consider, this is not just closing Grant JH, but also the district office and technology building.
c. There is potential for other savings in teachers because of the 7-12 staffing and maximizing staff. However, many of those savings are not factored to this cost, because we might use that potential savings to offer better education for our students. For example: a. Hiring a teacher and starting a Vo-Ag program.
d. It is our goal, that no one loses a job. We feel through normal attrition of employees, that we will be able to move people around to maintain employment with the district, especially when we look at a 2 year completion time frame.
a. There will be two separate ballot questions regarding the School Facility project. The School Bond Project will read………….
Shall Unified School District No. 352, Sherman County, Kansas (Goodland), issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $14,995,000, to pay a portion of the estimated costs to (a) improve, renovate, equip and make additions to North Elementary School, including main entry improvements, classroom and storm shelter additions, technology improvements, ADA compliance upgrades, new roof, restroom remodeling and heating and air conditioning improvements; (b) improve, renovate, equip and make additions to West Elementary School, including main entry improvements, classroom and storm shelter additions, technology improvements, ADA compliance upgrades and restroom remodeling; (c) improve, renovate, equip and make additions to the High School, including kitchen addition and ADA compliance upgrades; and mechanical, plumbing, electrical and technology improvements; and (d) make all other necessary improvements appurtenant thereto; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 10-101 et seq.; K.S.A. 25-2018(f); K.S.A. 72-6761; and K.S.A. 75-2315 et seq.? The balance of the estimated costs ($445,000) shall be paid from funds on hand from a prior District financing. To vote in favor of the question submitted on this ballot, darken the oval to the left of the word “Yes”. To vote against it, darken the oval to the left of the word “No.” Yes No A vote of “yes” on the above question would approve a 12.0 mill increase (property tax) to fund the $14.9 million project. A vote of “no” means we will not move forward with the project.
b. There will another, totally separate, ballot question that will read……..
Shall the City of Goodland, Kansas, be authorized to impose a one-quarter percent (0.25%) City-wide general purpose retailers' sales tax (the “Educational Sales Tax”), the revenues from which to be used for educational purposes, including (a) assisting Unified School District No. 352, Sherman County, Kansas (Goodland) (the “District”) in the repayment of a portion of the principal of and interest on general obligation bonds to be issued by the District in an amount not to exceed $14,995,717 (the “District Bonds”) to pay the costs to improve and renovate educational facilities in the District (the “District Projects”), (b) providing for the payment of certain City infrastructure improvements to facilitate the use of District educational facilities, (c) pay costs of capital improvement projects of the District and (d) alleviating the property tax burden to the patrons of District, provided that imposition of such Educational Sales Tax shall be subject to the following conditions: (1) approval by the City electors of this proposition; (2) approval by District electors of a proposition authorizing the issuance of the District Bonds at an election held on April 2, 2013, and (3) collection of the Educational Sales Tax is to commence on July 1, 2013, or as soon thereafter as legally permissible, and expire 20 years after commencement, all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., as amended. To vote in favor of the question submitted on this ballot, darken the oval to the left of the word “Yes”. To vote against it, darken the oval to the left of the word “No.” Yes No This ballot question is intended to give the community the opportunity to vote on how they want to fund the project and only matters if the School Bond Project (the $14.9 million ballot question) is passed. A vote of “Yes” on this sales tax question would lower the property tax increase from 12.0 mills to 8.75 mills and pick up the difference with the .25% sales tax increase. A vote of “no” would mean the project is funded with the 12.0 mill increase.