Millard Schools Asks Voters to Approve Bond Issue
Bond proposal includes security improvements
Omaha, NE - Millard school board members are crossing their fingers. A bond issue is on the table again.
The board voted unanimously to put an $80 million bond issue on the May ballot.
In 2011, the school board asked voters to approve a $140 million bond issue for security, technology, energy efficiency, renovations and additions. Voters shot it down with only 43% approval.
About half the money would pay to improve school security and renovate buildings. Millard spokesperson Rebecca Kleeman says buzzer systems and cameras would be added to all school entrances.
Schools built years ago with an "open concept" design would be renovated. This open concept was popular in the 70's but now raises questions about safety in case there is a security breach. "In an open concept school, you're pulling everything out and putting a bulldozer through the middle of the school," says Kleeman. Permanent walls and doors would be installed if voters approve the bond.
Millard North High School is also in need of a redesign, according to Kleeman. Currently the high school has multiple entrances and students enter and exit throughout the day, Kleeman says that is a security issue because anyone can walk in. The plan would redesign the high school to have only one main entrance and expand floor plans to reduce overcrowded hallways.
Capital renovations would cost an estimated $33 million and include replacing leaking roofs and exterior walls, updating mechanical, electrical and lighting systems, and replacing carpets and flooring.
The remaining money would be invested in the districts growth, about $10 million.
According to data provided by Millard schools, the $80 million bond issue would cost approximately $35 per year for a home valued at $100,000. If the bond is not approved, alternative measures would include larger cuts to the general fund, busing students to more open schools and a realignment of boundaries. However, in light of the recent national gun violence, and parents outcry for safer schools, Millard thinks the bond may have a chance at passing.