An upcoming school bond election was the main focus at the Woodward Industrial Foundation’s “breakfast” meeting Monday.

Woodward Superintendent of Schools Bill Denton and a couple of members of the school’s long range planning committee were in attendance to talk about the $8.685 million bond issue for capital improvements. The election date is Nov. 8.

A centerpiece of the bond issue is a new early childhood center at a cost of $4.2 million.

Passage will increase taxes slightly. Stephen Smith, the school’s financial consultant said taxes would increase $2.50 to $3 per $100 dollars of property taxes.

“I think the community has been excited about an early childhood center,” Denton said. “This will allow us to do full day kindergarten, plus our pre-K.”

Denton said there was not room to expand the Westwood building, which currently houses the early childhood center.

“We’ve looked down those roads,” the superintendent said.

One question from the foundation expressed a concern that was raised before the bond proposal was approved by the school board earlier this month.

The question concerned location and the purchase of 10 acres needed for the project.

Cody Hodgden asked the superintendent if there were time constraints on purchasing the land. “What happens if the bond issue passes and the land (is not purchased).”

Denton said, “There’s no deadlines of anything in that regard. It’s kind of like a chicken and egg thing. What if the bond doesn’t pass and we have secured the land and (there’s) nothing to do with it?

“It’s difficult both ways. We’re actively seeking to purchase the best land we can find. There are a number of possibilities and as soon as we find the ideal location, we’re going to secure that land.”

In response to another question, Denton said the school does own some land where the high school campus and vo-ag buildings are, but added that access and facilities already there were issues to consider.

“It would take us acquiring some additional access and we would have to move the vo-ag if we put a school facility there.”

Denton said he was following the advise of architects on the need for 10 acres.

“We have to go by their experience,” he said. “That’s the standard and all I can really go on.”

He pointed out that many of the district’s elementary schools are “landlocked” making expansion difficult and using 10 acres would allow for potential expansion of the early childhood facility.

Denton said a determination about what to do with the Westwood building should the bond issue pass hasn’t been made. Some possibilities including selling the building, finding another district use or a community use.

Other elementary schools closed over the years remain in use.

The Oak Park building houses the district’s alternative school, Boomer kids club, preschool for handicapped children and adult education classes. Madison Park is leased to the Head Start program.

The bond issue also calls for construction of a library-media center addition at Horace Mann, a physical education facility, music and restroom facilities at Highland Park and a physical education facility and remodeling of food service at Cedar Heights. Also planned is a health and fitness center at the high school, plus funds for improvements in music education, vocational agriculture, transportation and technology.

The transportation bond is $130,000 for two new 71 passenger route buses.

Denton said the school would purchase new buses for the routes, not refurbished buses.

Long Range Planning Committee member Michelle Williamson said the group prioritized everything for this bond issue and for future bond issues.

“I feel like we have the buy-in from the bottom to the top,” she said. “Everyone has worked together on this and we feel like everyone is on the same page.”

Williamson said the committee includes representatives from each district site as well as administrators, business members and others in the community.

Denton said the bond issue would keep the school’s millage in the neighborhood of 15 mills, or around half of the district’s capacity.

“We’re trying to keep things at mid-level and that’s what we’ve do through other bond issues,” Denton said.

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Foundation members also heard a report from President LaVern Phillips on the progress of Advanced Powerline Technologies, the company that is leasing the spec building near the airport.

APT Chairman Jack Lin said in a recent news released, his company and secured an agreement with NEXGEN Media for component parts and was moving ahead with its plans.

“Now that we have secured the supply chain for our operations in Woodward, we will now move forward to bring our factory up to full production capacity ASAP,” Lin said in the news release.

Board members voted to delay APT’s first lease payment until February 1 in order to allow the company time to finish the building.

Phillips told the foundation that the company planned to set up training through High Plains Technology Center and would bring trainers from Taiwan for a time to assist.