If you’re going to own buildings, at some point they will need upgrades and maintenance.
This is primary goal of a $13.25 million McPherson school bond issue that will be on the April 2 ballot.
The bond seeks to update the USD 418’s current facilities to meet the needs of students during the next 20 years.
Science classes at the high school that have settled severely due to the drought also would be repaired and upgraded. This work will need to be completed whether the bond passes or not.
At Lincoln and Roosevelt Elementary schools, a number of changes will be made, which include new classrooms, cafeterias and warming kitchens.
The gymnasium space in these buildings is used as both a cafeteria and an instructional space for physical education classes. This conflict interferes with instructional time.
At Washington Elementary, the 1950s addition would be rebuilt to become more energy efficient, increase instructional space and expand parking. Rebuilding was chosen as opposed to renovation due to cost.
Several roofing projects are also included on the bond issue, but would be done if it is passed or not.
At McPherson High School, a production welding and machining shop will be added. In attempts to meet its goal to graduate students from MHS who are college or career ready, the district would like to offer more courses in production welding and machining. Superintendent Randy Watson said the district is trying to meet a demand for more of these skilled workers in the area.
Because of a law passed last year, these students can receive dual credit from MHS and Hutchinson Community College and graduate with the certificate at no cost to them.
If approved, the new bond would replace a bond from the 1990s, which is due to expire.
The new bond would result in a lower bond and interest mill levy, dipping from the current amount of 6.497 mills to an estimated 5.5 mills. Under the current bond, taxes on a $100,000 home are $74.72. Under the new bond, the taxes on a $100,000 home would be $63.25.
Cost for construction generally will increase and not decrease over time. If repairs and upgrades need to be done, now would be the time to do them. Each of these projects are tied very closely to instructional needs.
We, as a editorial board, support the USD 418 bond issue as necessary and reasonable.
We urge USD 418 residents to register by Tuesday and vote April 2 in favor of the McPherson school district bond issue.
— Cristina Janney for The McPherson Sentinel Editorial Board