The McPherson school board voted Monday to move forward with a $13.25 million bond issue.
If passed, the 20-year bond would replace the district’s current bond. However, under the new bond, the tax rate would drop from 6.497 mills to 5.5 mills.
Four of the district’s six buildings would undergo renovation if the bond issue is passed.
Two projects are being considered at McPherson High School.
The first is a shop area to be added on the north side of the building, expanded from the current shop area. This would allow for welding, construction and other technical education courses.
Chris Ruder, assistant superintendent, said the new vocational area is an acknowledgment that not all students will attend college. Adding more vocation resources will serve the school’s career-ready mission.
The second project would include repairs to science classrooms on the south side of the building. This would involve foundation repair and the upgrading of items in the classroom, such as lab surfaces.
The high school project will cost an estimated $3.5 million.
Roosevelt and Lincoln
Building structures at Roosevelt and Lincoln Elementary schools are almost identical. In both of these buildings, discussion surrounded the construction of three classrooms, and an addition of a cafeteria, commons and kitchen area that would extend from the current gymnasiums.
Ruder said the commons areas can be used for instruction when not being used for lunches. Renovations to Lincoln will cost an estimated $3.6 million. Renovations for Roosevelt will cost an estimated $3.5 million.
Changes at Washington Elementary School surround what many call the 1950s addition.
This area, closest to the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Park Avenue, would be demolished and rebuilt slightly to the east.
The current courtyard would become hallway and classroom spaces. Offices would then be moved to the current art and reading rooms.
It is estimated this project will take the most time to complete and cost about $3.2 million. Roofing improvements also are being considered for MHS, Roosevelt and Lincoln, which are included in the cost estimates above.
The four projects are estimated to cost $13.8 million. Ruder said the district will work with the architect to get the projects within the estimated $13.25 million that is projected to be raised through the bond.
Board members agreed to support the bond issue because it supported three district goals.
• Enhance education through needs identified in the C3 initiative.
• Maintain existing facilities.
• Maintain elementary buildings as neighborhood schools.
“We have identified curriculum needs, and we need to enhance facilities to meet those needs,” board member Jeff Johnson said.
The board instructed the administrators to draw up language for the bond issue, work with an architect on plans for renovations and contract with a company for bond services.
The district hopes to have the bond issue on the April ballot. In order to do this, the board would have to approve the bond at its meeting in the second week in January.
In other business, the board:
• Accepted a $175 gift from the friends and family of David Yingst for the McPherson High School football and basketball programs.
• Accepted a gift of $500 to be spent on football helmets and football helmet reconditioning and recertification. The gift was from the Coach Miller Football Fund.
• Approved the creation of a new women’s vocal class at MHS.
• Approved the purchase of a new freezer for the middle school.