Supporting the bond

By now most of you have heard about the USD 373 school bond proposal. Odds are good that you’ve heard something negative. I would like to take this opportunity to redirect the focus. This bond has the potential to do amazing things for our students and community. I would like to focus on the positive.

Right now the state is guaranteed to contribute 28.8 percent of our total bond proposal, which is approximately $17M. Due to recent changes in the Kansas legislation, it is possible that this will cease to be available in the near future. We are fortunate that we still have the opportunity to have money from the state pumped into our schools. On top of that, interest rates are at near-historic lows. With the figures we are looking at, low interest rates can lead to huge savings over time.

The largest portion of the bond will go to Newton High School. Every Newton student eventually ends up at the high school. This bond will make our 44-year-old high school cutting edge and something we can all be proud of. Our school has “good bones” but is in dire need of repairs. If you have any doubts that work needs to be done, go tour the school at one of the upcoming community tours or ask any teacher or student. If passed, this bond will make our high school on par with some of the surrounding high schools. Our schools need to be a draw to our community, not a reason people avoid moving here.

Walton Rural Life Center has been a part of USD 373 for many years. At one time, people from around the globe visited Walton as an example of ag-inspired project based learning. Over the years, Walton hasn’t had any updates other than adding modular buildings to accommodate growth. This bond will allow an incredible renovation and thrust WRLC back into the spotlight, drawing positive attention to USD 373. The community team tasked with advising the School Board on putting together this bond did a survey and the overwhelming majority supports renovating Walton.

In closing, consider this: A vibrant successful community has great schools. This is almost without exception. Regardless of how you feel about taxes, education is where you need to spend. If you want Newton to fail and spiral downward let the schools crumble. Please vote yes and support our town.

 

— Dr. Troy Holdeman, Newton