Butler County Times Gazette
  • USD 490 Bond issue passes

  • A new middle school and elementary school will be moving forward for USD 490 following the elections Tuesday evening.


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  • A new middle school and elementary school will be moving forward for USD 490 following the elections Tuesday evening.
    Voters gave their approval of the bond issue with a 52.04 percent of the votes. In all, they received 2,206 votes in favor, with 1,867 voting against the issue.
    "I am feeling very thankful this morning for a group of volunteers who put together a hard fought campaign," said Superintendent Sue Givens. "We knew it would be very close."
    In all they had about 120 volunteers helping through the process up to this point.
    "We've had so many people who have been actively involved," Givens said. "It's against quite a few odds."
    Givens also said she was thankful for all of the people who took the time to vote.
    "It's a wonderful day for El Dorado students," she said.
    The new elementary school will be located on the Skelly Elementary site, allowing them to build the new school while continuing to use the current facility.
    The district recently announced the location for the new middle school as being at 12th Avenue and North Topeka. The 40-acre site, owned by El Paso Merchant Energy, will be sold exclusively to the district for a consideration of $1,000.
    The new middle school will accommodate 500 students and include a single gym with modern locker facilities; commons area for assemblies; ADA accessibility; and appropriate parking and outdoor educational needs.
    The elementary school will have a student capacity of 360 for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, with three classrooms per grade. It also will have improved drop-off areas.
    The total cost of the projects is $36.1 million.
    The district has already notified the state department that they will be taking advantage of the Qualified School Construction Bonds they had on reserve.
    Then on Monday during the School Board meeting, board members will receive an update on construction management and the steps they will need to take, as well as the steps beginning to gather staff and community input on design.
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