The Woodward Board of Education approved a bond package Monday evening to appear on the ballot in April this year.
Several bond options were presented to the board, and after consideration, presentation of survey results, and several questions, the board approved a bond option totaling $5,750,000. The bond breaks down as follows:
High School and Middle School Auditoriums: $1 million
Middle School Fine Arts: $1 million
Home Ec: $500,000
Technology and textbooks: $1.5 million
Safety and Security: $250,000
Artificial Turf: $1 million
If passed, the tax impact is predicted to be a 5.23 percent increase.
According to Jordan Smith with Stephen L. Smith Corp, bond counsel, these are considered “worst case scenario” numbers and could end up being a lot better.
“I’ve tried to estimate about as expensive as reasonably possible,” Smith explained. “I know there’s been a lot of conversation about some additional wind towers coming into your school district. We’re not taking any of that into account. These tax impacts are based on our current patterns, not including any benefits that those wind towers would bring… Barring any major catastrophes, this is going to be about as worse tax impact as we can project. Hopefully it’s going to be much, much better than this.”
The Long-Range Planning Committee conducted a significant number of surveys over the last year to get a better understanding of what the community would support. The community survey was mailed to between 1,100 to 1,200 members of the community, according to Superintendent Kyle Reynolds.
Reynolds went through the results of the surveys showing a favorable response to most proposed projects. The surveys showed responses from employees and community members, breaking it down into support, might support, and don’t support categories.
Here are the community member responses:
High School and Middle School Auditorium Renovation
Support 74.6 percent
Might Support 10.3 percent
Don’t Support 15.1 percent
Middle School Fine Art Building Renovation
Support 77.3 percent
Might Support 10.8 percent
Don’t Support 11.9 percent
Middle School Home Economic Renovation
Support 70.8 percent
Might Support 15.1 percent
Don’t Support 14.1 percent
Technology and Textbook Improvements
Support 78.9 percent
Might Support 13 percent
Don’t Support 8.1 percent
Transportation - New buses and passenger vehicles
Support 64.9 percent
Might Support 22.7 percent
Don’t Support 12.4 percent
Artificial Turf Installation
Support 52.4 percent
Might Support 15.1 percent
Don’t Support 32.4 percent
Expansion of Track and Football Facility Renovation
Support 47.6 percent
Might Support 17.3 percent
Don’t Support 35.1 percent
Replacing Bleachers in High School Basketball Gym
Support 38.9 percent
Might Support 26.5 percent
Don’t Support 34.6 percent
Building New Sheep and Goat Facility
Support 43.8 percent
Might Support 27.6 percent
Don’t Support 28.6 percent
The surveys also posed the question “Which of the following are you likely to support?”:
Do not support bond issue at this time - 9.7 percent
Bond issue without turf - 22.2 percent
Bond issue without small tax increase - 38.9 percent
Bond issue with small tax increase - 53.5 percent
Vice President of the Board Doris Ames simplified terms by comparing the tax impact to a pop or Sonic drink.
“Looking at my house, approximately I’m looking at $1.35 increase,” Ames said. “So are the kids worth $1.35? A pop a week? We can all afford to give up a Sonic drink a week.”
Board President Leah Barby commented that after all her years on the Board, this was the hardest decision she’d had to make.
The Board reviewed an agenda item to appoint an acting president and/or clerk for the School District, in the absence of the president and/or clerk, to execute any and all documents pertaining to the calling of a special election to authorize general obligation bonds.
After the board posed some concerns, the establishment of the Woodward High School Athletic Hall of Fame was tabled. Several board members were concerned it would make some students feel left out, such as fine arts and drama students. The item was tabled until further discussion could take place.
The Class 5A State Champion Boomer Dance Team and Dance Team Coach of the Year West Taryn Johannesmeyer were recognized during the meeting for their hard work and achievements.
Amy Whitewater presented Project A.W.A.R.E. updates to the Board, highlighting some of the programs completed in the last year.
The Board voted to approved the Prosperity Bank School Advantage Purchasing Card Program, which would make it easier for employees to pay for lodging and meals during trips.
According to Reynolds, it has become increasingly difficult to find hotels that would still accept purchase orders.
The State Aid and/or Federal Fund was approved in the General Fund so those monies may be used as needed.
The Board voted to enter executive session. Upon returning the Board approved the January District Personnel Report.
The Board tabled renewing Reynolds contract pending further discussion.