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Riverton Voters will Decide on a $12.35 Million School Bond in A - KOAM TV 7

Riverton Voters will Decide on a $12.35 Million School Bond in April

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4th grade teacher Ashley Coleman has been teaching in Riverton for about eight years, five of those years in the modular units outside.

“I believe that it's crucial for us to get our students in the building. We had a very hard time getting them over for tornado drills, sometimes we would not even hear the siren,” says Coleman.

To make schools safer the school board proposes a $12.35 million bond to pay for improvements, to a school that hasn't seen major renovations since the 1980s.

42% of the cost would be paid by the state, the remaining $7 million would be paid by residents through a hike in property taxes.

Superintendent Todd Berry says with pending legislation to change Kansas school funding the time to make a change is now.

“So it's not going to get cheaper than it is today,” says Berry.

If the bond is passed this outdoor courtyard space would be transformed into a storm shelter and would also double as extra classroom space and make room for an expanded cafeteria.

“Riverton schools is kind of the community of Riverton. We're an unincorporated community so a lot of what takes place in Riverton happens right here,” says Berry.

“I would support it because of the storm shelters and the need we have in the area, due to the Baxter Springs tornado, not too long ago,” says parent April Altic.

But for some the price tag is too high.

“When you're on social security everything's too much. You know, you just get taxed to death it seems like," says grandparent Wallace Sowder.

For a $100,000 home property taxes would increase annually by about $150.

"It might be a little bit hard for them to pay for, but in the long run we have to look out for our kids and I think it's well worth it,” says Riverton resident Dena Hill.

The bond package would also include a new multipurpose room with extra gym space, enclosed connecting corridors, and hardened locker rooms and fitness area at the High School that would provide shelter for up to 500 people. The election is on April 7th. 

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