Residents in the Tea Area School District will vote on a $15.4 million bond issue June 20.
The bond is to build a junior kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school with 28 classrooms, additional rooms for music, band, library, computers, special education services, a community center gym, commons area, infrastructure and furnishings and fixings. The school would be built in southern Tea, south of the city maintenance shop and athletic complex.
The district sent out a fact sheet so voters have the information they need to vote.
In order for it to pass, 60 percent need to vote in favor of the bonds.
Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said the district needs this building because they need classrooms. They are operating at capacity at the recently renovated Legacy Elementary.
“When we did our previous bond issue we were projecting our student population would be 4 percent growth and be at 1,706. Our actual population was 1,710,” she said.
They did not build it bigger at that time because they could not afford it. Lowery said they are trying hard to keep the bond levy under $4.
“If we don’t build then we will have our elementary students either in larger class sizes or stick buildings again,” Lowery said. “People were pretty adamant that they did not want stick buildings.”
The elementary classroom needs are projected to be taken care of until 2027 if the bond passes and this proposed elementary gets built. At Frontier Elementary they can make small additions that will not require a bond because they are small and do not need heating and cooling systems. The future would include classroom additions and eventually a gym.
If the bond passes, the district will have bids go out in
or January and the school would open in fall of 2019.
Lowery encourages everyone in the district to come out and vote.
“Whether they vote yes or they vote no, we need our patrons to come and be a part of what they want their community to look like, what they want their schools to be,” she said.
The election is June 20 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the District Education Center at 131 N. Poplar Ave., Tea. Voters can vote absentee at the District Education Center during office hours Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. up until the day before the election.
For more information, contact Lowery or business manager Chris Esping at 605-498-2700 ext. 5 or any school board member.