The USD 428 Board of Education moved ahead with sending a nearly $42 million school bond issue to the voters after passing the finalized proposal at Monday’s meeting. The outcome will be determined by registered voters within the Great Bend school district through a mail-in ballot sent to citizens later this summer.
USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton says the process to finalize a master plan started in February 2018 with gathering ideas, naming a steering committee, hiring SJCF Architecture, and conducting several community meetings to gather information from the voters.
“The resolution lets the voters decide if they approve of this bond or if they do not,” Thexton said. “We want to get it in front of the community. The steering committee has put a lot of time and effort into it.”
The mail-in ballot will include two questions. Question one is the main portion of the bond not to exceed $41,750,000 that would pay for safety/security entrances, tornado shelters, shifting some of the grade school parking lots around to move them off popular streets, additions to Great Bend Middle School to include sixth graders, and extended locker room space at Great Bend High School. The second question will ask for $3,120,000 to add a gymnasium and locker room at the middle school.
Terry Wiggers, SJCF Executive Vice President, says the move will be to get the public informed of the bond issue questions coming their way.
“Our effort will be to get the word out,” Wiggers said. “There will be a number of avenues that we will discuss that will fit Great Bend. Our goal is to make sure everyone understands the solution, understands the questions, so they’re intelligent mailing their ballot.”
The mail-in ballot will be sent to registered voters two weeks prior to the deadline to return the ballot to the Barton County Clerk’s Office either by mail or dropping it off at the Clerk’s Office inside the Barton County Courthouse. September 5, 2019 will be the cutoff to return the ballot.
“This is the idea we came up with so we now leave it up to the hands of the voters,” Thexton added.