BBPS Gives First Look Into $29.9 Million Bond Project

BBPS Gives First Look Into $29.9 Million Bond Project
(L-R): BBPS Superintendent Darren Tobey, Jacob Sertich with Wilkins Architecture Design Planning, BBPS Board Members Tom Osmond and Pam Holcomb

A unanimous vote by the Broken Bow Public Schools Board of Education in September put into motion a $29.9 million bond that would see massive improvements and upgrades at the Broken Bow Middle and High School.

The project consists of approximately 98,000 square feet of new construction, 46,000 square feet of renovation and the demolition of the 1938 middle school building. Specific areas for Agriculture, Auto, Metals, Woods and Performing Arts will be created as well as additional classroom space. Many areas will be renovated and upgraded for functionality and safety including the Science lab, lobby/commons area, and gymnasium.

During a press conference on Friday, October 1, BBPS Board Members Tom Osmond and Pam Holcomb, BBPS Superintendent Darren Tobey, and Jacob Sertich with Wilkins Architecture Design Planning from Kearney spoke to the media about the proposed renovations.

Tobey said there are urgent needs within the school that need to be addressed including the agriculture and vocational trade facilities, improving the science classrooms to properly equip students and teachers and also safety risks, improving the performing arts facility, addressing safety concerns with visitors at the school, fire code and handicap accessibility issues, and dealing with the mechanical systems that are inefficient and increase annual expenditures through ongoing ‘band-aid” repairs.

Concept Plan

When asked about why now, Tobey said BBPS is not able to offer Career and Technical Education (CTE) to the level that is currently offered at other schools.

Tobey said, “We have a lot of kids interested in CTE and we just don’t have the space for those kids to get the opportunities that kids at other schools are getting.”

BBPS Board President Tom Osmond also noted that improvements will have to be made and if the school continues to wait prices could be even higher down the road. Pam Holcomb also added the problems and issues currently facing the school are not simply going to go away

“Cost will still continue to go up years in the future. So if you’re waiting it is just going to get more expensive. You have a decent financing time right now with interest rates being fairly cheap,” said Osmond. “It’s just going to get more expensive the longer you wait and you might not have the ability to finance it at this good of an interest rate.”

It was also noted that the current cost to fix the issues regarding code, safety, and security issues would be in the area of $10 million without the bond. The BBPS board would have to levy a maximum of 14 cents annually in the Special Building Fund to generate $1.3 million which would take ten years to reach the mark needed to fix the issues.

“Plus we have a lot of momentum in our school. We have a lot of things that are going well. I think our board is in a lot better place than we were years ago our community is in a lot better place. It just felt that now was the right time to roll it out and hopefully, we can see some big things in the future,” said Tobey

According to Tobey, the board focused more on the levy and less on the actual final number of $29.9 million. He said the ballot will state a levy amount of 16 cents, but once the North Park bond is paid off in December of 2023 it will drop to 11 cents per $100 of valuation.

Hausmann Construction has been approved as the construction manager. If the bond passes, construction will begin immediately and is projected to be finished in Fall 2023.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, November 9. The Broken Bow Municipal Building will be the lone site for the election from 8 AM-8 PM. Voters must be registered online by October 22 or in-person by October 29.

Additional information on the project is available at BuildBowTogether.com.

Community Tour
Middle School Auditorium
Tuesday, October 19
Tour: 5 PM

Community Tour/Meeting
Middle School Auditorium
Wednesday, October 27
Tour: 6 PM; Meeting 7 PM

Community Tour/ Meeting
Middle School Auditorium
Monday, November 1
Tour: 5:30 PM; Meeting (Cobblestone Hotel): 7 PM

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