In a unanimous decision, the Broken Bow School Board voted to put the decision of a $29.9 million bond in the hands of voters in the school district following their regular meeting on Monday, September 13. Tobin Buchanan from First National Bank told the board that with the bond they could not ask for any additional funds from the public, if the bond were to pass, but could raise funds or use funds from the budget to make up any shortfalls if there were any.
Board member Pam Holcomb said the board owes it to the students, staff, and those involved in the process to find out from the public if they want to allow a bond or not.
The project consists of the wholesale demolition of the existing 1938 middle school building, the addition of approximately 97,700 square feet of new construction to the existing high school building (likely to consist of a new auditorium, lobby/commons, competition gym, career and technical areas, music spaces, offices, and other program spaces) and the renovation of approximately 45,540 square feet of the existing high school building.
The special election will be held in November, but whether it is by polling place or mail-in voting has yet to be determined. If the bond is approved, Hausmann Construction will be the construction manager for the project. Additional information on the project is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The 2021-22 budget was also approved by the board with the asking remaining the same at $8,614,099 with an overall tax rate of .897225. The budget for the school has remained the same the last four years with the levy changing some each year depending on valuations. J.B. Atkins explained that the school’s asking has remained the same, but when the overall valuations go down, the levy goes up, which can seem like the school is asking for additional funds.
The old Broken Bow Preschool could see new occupants in a year after the board voted to sell the building to the non-profit group Custer Learning Center. Representatives of the group spoke at the board meeting and stated that there is a child care issue in the city with a gap of approximately 210 children.
The representatives stated they would like to purchase the building, renovate it, and fill in the gap for child care. After the discussion, the board entered executive session to discuss the proposition. Following the closed session, the board offered to sell the building for $10,000 to be excised on or before August 31,2022. The group stated they will operate through grants and community support.
The board also approved the purchase of a 2015 MCI charter bus as a new activities bus, due to the current bus having undercarriage issues. According to Broken Bow Superintendent Darren Tobey, the mechanic stated it was going to be cheaper to purchase a bus than to fix the number of issues on the old bus. Tom Osmond informed the public, the bus was going to be cycled out in two years anyway, but due to the current issues the timeline was moved up. He also noted that other purchases that were planned for this year would be moved to future budget years.
The 56 seater bus was approved to be purchased for an amount not to exceed $295,000.
The Broken Bow Public School Board will have their work session on Monday, October 4 at noon and their next regular meeting on Monday, October 18 at 8:30 PM.