GIPS Facility Task Force Backs New Buildings, Tax Hike - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

GIPS Facility Task Force Backs New Buildings, Tax Hike

Posted: Updated:

A local school district is getting the public's help to make a multi-million dollar decision.

A group of community members held their fourth and final meeting to discuss how Grand Island Public Schools will deal with aging facilities.

This is the first time the district has assembled what they're calling a Facility Task Force.

Monday, community members used iPads to vote on what changes they'd like to see to school buildings.

School officials said overcrowding and open concept buildings are distracting students and creating safety concerns.

Six schools are up for discussion. Starr Elementary School is one of them.

Principal John Hauser was anxious to see the tax force's findings Monday afternoon. He said he supports construction at his school, but not a specific option.

"Just a learning environment where students can learn the benefits of classrooms without distractions whether it be remodeling this or a new building where we can expand and grow into. That's what I'm hoping will come out of this," said Hauser.

The group Monday favored building new Jefferson, Starr, and Stolley Park buildings. They voted for renovations at Shoemaker, Engleman and Senior High.

The task force is made up of parents, school staff and community members.

"They've provided some insight; and asked us to go back and look at some things that maybe we might not have looked at otherwise that I think will make our work easier in the long run," said GIPS Superintendent Dr. Robert Winter. "All in all we've had some wonderful discussions."

All of the projects discussed add up to a cost of $56.8 million. That would mean a 7 cent property tax levy is needed or $70 more a year on a $100,000 home. Director of Finance Virgil Harden says future valuations could mean a levy of only 5 cents. 

 Cutting half of the projects would mean no added levy, but the task force heavily favored keeping all those projects Monday.

Winter said most of the projects mean students would be displaced, but classes could continue during renovations at Shoemaker and Engleman.

Neither the plans presented nor the task force's decision are final. Monday's findings will be presented to the Grand Island Public School Board next month. They will make the final decision.

Jefferson Elementary 
$13.4 million - Build new on current site
$13.1 million - Renovation

Starr Elementary 
To 3 Unit
$14.4 million - Build new at new site
$10.1 million - Renovate

Stolley Park Elementary
To 3 Unit
$13.8 million - Build new on current site
$14.4 million - Build new at new site

Shoemaker Elementary
To 4 Unit
$7.1 million - Renovation

Engleman Elementary
To 4 Unit
$3 million - Renovation

Senior High
$2.1 million - Renovation
Untitled Document

Powered by WorldNow
General and news information or questions:
Across the Midlands Information:
Phone: 308-743-2494
News Fax: 308-743-2660
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and NTV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.