Education

Haysville $59 million bond issue includes storm shelters, swimming pool complex

Proposed bond improvements at Campus High School
Proposed bond improvements at Campus High School Courtesy of Haysville schools

Haysville school district residents will vote next week on a bond issue for $59 million worth of projects, including a new school, storm shelters, secured entryways and a swimming pool complex.

The bond would require no increase to the local mill levy.

“The board started looking at safety and security, and that’s really where all of this developed,” said Clint Schutte, assistant superintendent of business and finance for Haysville schools.

About two years ago, board members ordered a review of the district’s safety policies and procedures related to severe weather and potential intruders, he said. Officials noted storm shelters and controlled-access entries in several schools, but not all.

“Weather is our No. 1 threat in Kansas, and the idea of having groups of our students and staff that are vulnerable is not something the board wants,” Schutte said.

District voters will go to the polls June 9 to consider a bond referendum – the district’s first since 2005. The list of proposed projects includes:

▪ A new $16 million school that would house Haysville High, an alternative high school, and the Tri-City Day School, a program for children with special needs from Haysville, Derby and Mulvane.

▪ Two Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved storm shelters at Campus High School, for about $4 million.

▪ A $5.6 million competition gymnasium and storm shelter at Haysville Middle School.

▪ A second gymnasium at Haysville West Middle School, for $4.2 million.

▪ A $3.9 million new transportation facility

▪ About $917,000 worth of upgrades to Colt Stadium

▪ Various upgrades throughout the district, including controlled-access entries, windows, parking lots, roofs and bus lanes.

▪ And an $8.2 million swimming and diving complex that would replace the current pool at Campus High School. The natatorium would feature an eight-lane, 25-yard pool that would be available to the community when not being used by the school district.

The proposed bond would not increase local property taxes. Because Haysville is among the bottom five school districts in the state in terms of wealth – as measured by assessed valuation per student – the current finance formula requires the state to pay 65 percent of bond and interest costs.

“So we can vastly improve our facilities for zero (additional) property tax,” said John Burke, Haysville’s superintendent.

Haysville, a district of about 5,100 students just south of Wichita, has one comprehensive high school, two middle schools and six elementaries.

Burke said the swimming pool was added to the bond issue because Campus High’s current pool, built in 1961, is beyond repair.

“We’ve worked on it over the years, and it’s just to a point where it’s costing us more to fix it than to build a new one,” he said.

In addition, Campus High swim teams have begun to outgrow the four-lane pool, he said. This year’s girls team had to practice in two groups – some in the morning, some in the afternoon – because of space concerns.

Plans call for the district to build its natatorium as part of a proposed new Haysville Activity Center near Clinton and Sarah Lane, Burke said. The city would lease the land to the district at no cost, and the district would build and maintain the natatorium.

“We see it as a win-win,” Burke said. “We could have our pool in conjunction with their activity center, which would make it just that much better.”

Around Haysville, signs in favor of the bond issue read “Keep Kids Safe,” a nod to the proposed storm shelters and other security measures. Burke said those elements are “the main thrust” of the proposal.

“It’s just so important that we make sure, given where we live, that our students and staff are able to be safe and secure,” he said.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

Where to vote

Registered voters in the Haysville school district will vote June 9 on a proposed $59 million bond issue.

These polling sites will be open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. June 9: Glenville Church, 4604 S. Seneca; Haysville Activity Center, 7106 S. Broadway; Haysville Community Library, 210 Hays Ave.; and the Machinists Building, 3830 S. Meridian.

Advance voting is available at the Sedgwick County Election Office during regular business hours, ending at noon June 8. A satellite advance-voting center at the Haysville Community Library will be open noon-7 p.m. June 4-5 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 6.

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