At the Aug. 9, 2021, Board of Education meeting, USD 113 Architect, Theodore Demonchaux, unveiled a visual image of what Sabetha Elementary School would look like after upcoming facility improvements are completed. I was very pleased with the proposed appearance of the building as well as the concepts for the improved learning environment. I also was excited by the improvements to the Wetmore Academic Center, as well as the Axtell School.
Construction money doesn’t go as far these days as it did in the past. The last bond issues for USD 441 and USD 488 resulted in facilities that we now take for granted. It is almost inconceivable to imagine not having improvements such as additional classrooms, commons and gym spaces. Looking back helps us to realize that we have to continue to invest in our facilities to serve future kids.
In order to finance this project, we are anticipating a $2.4 million dollar lease purchase through a local bank. We are fortunate that this board of education and previous boards have been good stewards of the public’s resources. Because we were able to set aside consolidation incentives with an eye to the future, we are able to accomplish a significant amount of our improvements for this project from savings. These savings are in contingency and capital outlay funds, resources that are separate from operational funds.
The current project, with a focus on the safety and security of our kids, is proposed to cost $4,580,000. As I think about all the district is getting for this amount, I consider us to be getting a lot of value for the investment. I encourage residents of USD 113 to access facility improvement information on the 113 website. It is an impressive project. Through visioning and good fiscal management, our school district is nearing the start of facility work that it will undertake to prepare tomorrow’s kids and shape the future.