While Newton USD 373 is working to finish off a bond request to the state department of education, Remington USD 206 is moving forward with their own.
A special election will determine the fate of Remington's $9.975 million in general obligation bonds to finance the proposed capital improvements at the District’s three attendance centers. The Kansas Department of Education will determine the immediate future of the Newton issue.
Remington operates an Elementary School in Potwin, a Middle School in Whitewater and Remington High School located near the Harvey/Butler County line. The district serves students from both Harvey and Butler counties. The proposed bond issue will require additional taxes estimated at 7.9 mills, an estimated increase of $7.57 per month on a $100,000 home.
If approved by voters, bond issue projects will make changes in every school in the Remington School District. Controlled-access entrances are planned at all three schools for enhanced security. Storm shelter improvements are proposed at both Remington Elementary and Remington High Schools.
Construction of a new music room will be reinforced to also function as a storm shelter at the elementary school. Construction of a new multi-purpose classroom at the high school will also be reinforced to function as the storm shelter for the building. Air-conditioning improvements are also a part of the plan.
Planned Remington Middle School improvements include construction of a new media center. The existing media center would be repurposed for special education and other needs. The new media center will be connected to the tech lab with the goal to create an educational area.
A new physical education/competition gym and wellness center addition is proposed for Remington High School. The new gym will feature seating for 2,000 spectators and improve schedules for physical education and team sports competitions. It will provide spaces for cardio, fitness, weights and a walking track around the top of the gym for use by both students and the public. A new multi-purpose room is also included for activities and training.
Newton filed an application with the State Board of Education for permission to vote general obligation bonds totaling $61.3 million. The purpose of the bond is to pay the costs of renovations and other improvements for improved security, safety with storm shelter improvements, improved heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, improvements to building interiors, and additional educational and support spaces at the existing Newton High School, Chisholm Middle School, Santa Fe 5-6 Center, Cooper Elementary School, Slate Creek Elementary School, South Breeze Elementary School, Northridge Elementary School, Sunset Elementary School and Walton Elementary School.
The Newton school board also approved an additional, second question on its application regarding $24.4 million in general obligation bonds for the construction of a new elementary school in the district.
While it is unlikely USD 373's application is approved given the minimal amount of funding left under the state bond cap, Newton is still moving forward with a bond request as administration and the school board see it potentially leading (even if it fails) to two positive outcomes — either helping effect change to the bond cap legislation or giving the Newton bond request priority in the following 2019-2020 school year.