The Bonner Springs/Edwardsville School District is looking to make facility improvements through a $39.35 million bond issue. The USD 204 Board of Education began looking at options last summer, and after reviewing the facility plans and projected enrollment voted to move forward with a bond election.
USD 204 has seen a steady increase in enrollment over the past several years, growing on average 1% or 30 students per year since the 2011-12 school year. The community is seeing new developments; new homes bring new families and new students into the district. To address the growing student population, the district worked with an architecture firm and a bond planning committee - consisting of parents, staff and community members - to develop a list of projects based on each school building's needs.
The projects in this bond positively impact all schools and all students. The district will work with a local construction company to enhance safety and security in all buildings, maximize space to meet student needs, improve parking and traffic flow around district facilities and grow the career and technical education programs.
Bonner Springs High School will see the most improvements, as the building has seen the least amount of upgrades. In addition to replacing the entire HVAC unit, two new classrooms will be added to the science wing. Perhaps the biggest project on the docket is the Braves Innovation Center, a building addition that will house a majority of the school's career and technical education classes. Courses like construction and design, video production, business entrepreneurship and the CNA program will move from the current facility into the addition. This will free up space in the main building to reconfigure classrooms, offices and even renovate the special education suite to better suit the needs of all students.
"The projects in the bond will not only address the need for more space, but also enhance the learning environment, setting students up for success for years to come," said Superintendent Dan Brungardt. The district anticipates these projects will give buildings enough classroom space for at least ten years.
One of the most important things for the Board of Education was to find a plan that met all the district's needs, but also positively impacted the community. If the bond issue passes, it will not raise the mill levy - meaning local home owners will not see a rise in property taxes.
The bond election will be conducted through a mail-in ballot. Ballots were sent to registered voters on April 12th. May 2nd is the official count day, so to make sure votes arrive on time, the district is suggesting patrons mail their pre-paid ballots back by April 25th.
Additional project information can be found on the district's website, www.usd204.net.