The total bond issue cost that appears on Nickerson-South Hutchinson USD 309’s website and the bond issue limit that appears on the Nov. 5 election ballot are different.
On usd309ks.org, a color graphic on the Bond Cost Information link says: “Total Facilities Improvements Bond: $29,902,850.”
The ballot asks voters if USD 309 shall issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $29,900,000.
Interim superintendent Jeanne Stroh said the smaller funding amount on the ballot won’t require trimming work. There is extra money built into architect SJCF Architecture of Wichita's numbers, Stroh said.
“All those numbers are estimates,” she said. “When we really get down to working with a construction manager, those numbers will shrink."
If the ballot passes, that is the amount — $29.9 million — of bonds the district will sell and not a penny more, she said.
Stroh was contracted to serve as interim superintendent after the board authorized the bond issue in June. The district granted superintendent Dawn Johnson about a year’s sabbatical to attend military school. Johnson was at the June meeting where the board heard about the proposed projects and set a dollar amount.
“Dawn put that information on and I don’t know if she didn’t notice that it was inaccurate,” Stroh said of the website. Johnson would have received the number of $29,902,850 from the architects, Stroh said.
At the June 3 meeting where board members discussed at length various school improvements to include, with the architects taking notes, school board member Jason Ontjes moved for a $30 million bond issue. The board had been advised the tentative package of projects planned could amount to about $29.9 million.
Board president Dan Schweizer suggested Onjtes reduce the figure to $29.9 million. Ontjes did, and the motion passed on a split vote.
The bond issue proposes upgrades, expansions and security measures at all USD 309 schools.