Voters to decide $27 million USD 409 bond issue

(KAIR)--A bond issue, funding a wide-range of improvements at the facilities of Atchison's Public Schools, will be decided by voters.

That follows approval by the Board of Education for Atchison's USD 409 during its meeting held Monday.

Placement of the $27 million bond issue before voters follows the work of district stakeholders, meeting as a Community Committee, who considered the priorities needing to be addressed, while keeping the cost to taxpayers in mind. According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Renee Nugent, a key consideration was that the bond aligns with the district's vision, mission, and belief statements as well as the strategic plan. The committee met regularly through the fall to review feedback and input from staff and community patrons, as gauged through survey. Their work followed a needs assessment of current facilities conducted over the summer.

According to Nugent, the bond will positively impact students and staff at every attendance center, with extra focus on Atchison High School and Atchison Elementary School. The last bond, in 2012, focused on Atchison Middle School and the Roosevelt building, which now houses the district's Central School.

Decided to be included among the scope of the project is HVAC repair and replacement, as well as roof repair, or replacement if needed, at all schools in the district.
Atchison Elementary School would see renovation for a new entrance, a single office suite, and integrations of Pre-K into the interior of the school.
Atchison High School would see renovation for a new entrance, upgrades of the band and choir rooms, new turf, for football and baseball, as well as a resurfaced track, and renovation of the locker room.
District officials have said that security enhancements would be made through the renovation of the school building entranceways,

The $27.3 million bond would come with no increase to the bond and interest mill levy.

Now that the bond issue is approved, USD 409 will file a resolution with the Kansas Department of Education, and the City of Atchison, for a special bond election on February 6 of next year.

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