Southern Public Schools considering putting bond issue on September ballot

BLUE SPRINGS, NE — A southeast Nebraska elementary school could be getting a makeover if voters pass a special bond issue this fall.

Southern Public Schools, in the bordering towns of Blue Springs and Wymore, is considering a $2.89 million bond to improve school safety and security and add space. Superintendent Dr. Chris Prososki says the school board talked with the public to figure out a price range for improvements.

“What can we do from a needs standpoint, not a wants standpoint," Prososki said. "I would love to have a five or six million-dollar gym, I would like to have a lot of things, but (we need to do) what is practical.”

If the bond issue passes, the district would add a preschool classroom for three-year-olds onto the elementary building, replacing the current facility across the street. The change would allow the program to double enrollment from 10 to 20 students.

“For every dollar you spend, you’re going to get a $16 return," Prososki said. "We definitely know if we can get them here sooner than later, they’re going to be more successful down the road.”

The bond issue would include a new gym for the elementary school. The current one doubles as a cafeteria and is too small for practices or events. An art classroom, additional playground and drainage fixes are also in the plans.

Prososki says school district leaders won’t tell the public how to vote.

“But (we will) definitely help inform them what the district needs, how this project will address the needs and then definitely what would be the financial impact on taxpayers to really invest,” Prososki said.

The bond would increase the district’s property tax levy by about 4.5 cents per $100 valuation. The school board will vote to put the issue on the ballot at its July meeting. The mail-in election would be on September 14th.