Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2007

Board focused on students with bond

May 24, 2007

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education has not yet decided on the language of a bond referendum but has apparently settled on what will be included in the question to be put before voters.

Earlier this month, the board approved a $45 million bond package with the expectation a referendum would be scheduled for November. It is a comprehensive list that would touch every student and grade level in the district with the most expensive item -- and the one that will cause the most adjustments -- a $26.9 million new first- through fifth-grade elementary school.

The project list is focused on school buildings or classroom technology enhancements with the exception of the $2.9 million stadium -- which will likely provide the bond issue its only whiff of controversy.

Not much of that should be expected considering the board's conservative approach. The board agreed not to include new district offices or bus barn out of the concern it would detract from critical classroom and student needs.

That decision may have made the bond more palatable to voters but it does make more difficult some of the decisions Superintendent Marty Kobza said were before the district. Obviously, it postpones any decision on the future of the current less-than-ideally located bus barn, but also complicates any decision on the old middle school property, on which a new district office could be built.

Earlier this year, a consultant said a phone survey indicated its constituents had an unusually high degree of trust in the board. The conservative bond package it approved will probably reinforce that opinion.

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