Fort Scott Board of Education approves school bond issue package - KOAM TV 7

Fort Scott Board of Education approves school bond issue package


Officials with USD 234 Board of Education first began a facilities needs assessment with architects.  

"It was obvious that we were heading toward a bond issue and that's when we started the discussions toward visiting with the community and what not to identify the scope of our project," said Jason Witt, vice president of USD 234.

A project that is now a $42.2 million school bond.

"I feel like it's time for us to step up to the plate and be responsible for the needs of our students," said Bob Beckham, incoming USD 234 superintendent.

According to school board officials, the bond issue package will affect all the schools in the district.

"A pretty good argument could be made that we need a new high school, but what we really need more than that is spread out across the district, and so through this project we're  going to be able to, for about the same amount of money, take care of all the buildings and their very basic needs," said Beckham. 

The approved option includes classroom renovations, storm shelters, technology advancements, and more. The state of Kansas will cover 51 percent. The rest will be funded by local property tax.  

Board president Janet Baum is for a school bond issue, but she feels the price of the chosen option is too steep.  

"I preferred one that would keep it within the forty total and twenty for our tax payers," said Braun. 

Other residents voice concern over the costs.  

"I personally don't think we need anymore taxes," said Christie Belcher. 

Jordan Witt says he empathizes with fellow taxpaying residents, but the bond promises a better city today and for years to come.

"It's not just for our kids that are here today, it's for the kids that will attend 30 years from now."

School board officials have requested the architects attempt to bring the plan to fruition within a $40 million budget. They will find out this information, along with the official ballot date, during the next school board meeting on July 14th.

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