Archived Story

Buchanan commissioners lend support to school’s $19.5M bond proposal

Published 9:45pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BUCHANAN — Buchanan City Commissioners expressed their support of the school district’s bond proposal at their meeting Monday night.

Wayne and Ruth Writer, both retired Buchanan Community Schools teachers and members of the bond proposal’s community outreach team, gave a presentation to the commission about the potential $19.5 million levy.

The bond, which would pay for massive improvements to the middle school and Ottawa Elementary and minor upgrades at the high school and Moccasin Elementary, is smaller than the $31 million proposal that failed last May.

The Writers said there was “a lot of misinformation” about the previous bond proposal so the community outreach team will be holding at least 40 public presentations and community forums before the Feb. 28 election.

Commissioner Joe Scanlon said he is glad to hear the district is trying to educate the community more on the issue this time around.

“I think if people knew the condition of these schools, (the bond) would go through,” he said.

Mayor Carla Cole agreed.

“I’m shocked at the condition of the (middle school) since my kids were there,” she said.

“They definitely need help. I don’t know how those teachers do it to be honest.”

The bond would cost a taxpayer with a $100,000 home $5.42 a month, while a resident with a $200,000 house would pay about $10.80 per month.

This bond issue is known as “phase 1” of the project to improve the buildings and technology of the district, while a second phase bond would take place likely later to finish the work.

Wayne said the advantages of the bond would be a better and safer learning environment, increased space for more school of choice students and the potential of growing the entire community through a better school system.

Here is what the bond would accomplish:

Buchanan Middle School ($10.6 million)

• New entrance and administration office relocated to the south side of the building to address access, egress, control and security issues

• Technology upgrades, including high-speed internet and fiber optics ring

• Remodeling of the building. This would include the following: walls between classrooms; physical education locker rooms; art, choir and band rooms; media center; bathrooms and entry ways to include barrier free access; upgraded kitchens; remodeling the current gym into a cafeteria/dining space

• New gymnasium

• New energy efficient mechanical rooms, equipment, boilers and control systems

• New electrical rooms

• Energy efficient exterior doors

• New windows for natural lighting

• New and updated electrical outlets

• Life/safety improvements, including emergency lighting and updated fire alarm and sprinkler systems

• New parking lot, driveways, walks

• New roof

Ottawa Elementary ($7.7 million)

• New secure student/visitor entry/administrative office

• Technology upgrades, including high-speed internet and fiber optics ring

• Remodeling of building. This would include the following: classrooms; media center; bathrooms and entryways to include barrier free access; upgraded kitchens

• Addition of first and second grade wing

• Lunchroom expansion

• Addition of activity/physical education room

• New energy efficient mechanical rooms, equipment, boilers and control systems

• New electrical rooms

• Energy efficient exterior doors

• New windows for natural lighting

• New and updated electrical outlets

• New access roads, sidewalks, fencing, paving, playgrounds, separate bus and parent drop-off, expanded parking lot

• New roof

• Life/safety improvements, including emergency lighting and updated fire alarm and sprinkler systems

Buchanan High School ($800,000)

• High-speed internet

• New technology cabling and equipment

• Update/renovate district-wide technology room to accommodate new districtwide technology system.

• Replace sidewalks, landscaping to accommodate technology connections to district buildings

• Life/safety improvements, including security and emergency lighting and updated fire alarm and sprinkler systems

Moccasin Elementary ($400,000)

• Technology upgrades, including high-speed internet and fiber optics ring

• Remodeling exit doors

• Life/safety improvements, including emergency lighting, updated fire alarm systems and barrier free access in restrooms

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  • cindy s

    100% for the bond. I have a 2010 grad and a 2015 Buchanan student. The buildings are old and need updating. Strong staff, motivated students and the passing of the bond will make our community even stronger. Go Bucks!

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