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Review information before voting Tuesday

This column will serve as a project summary prior to the building bond vote on Aug. 14. I encourage all district residents to review the information that has been presented and vote next Tuesday. Please contact any task force member, school board member or myself if you have any last questions or need further information regarding the proposed project.

The proposed building project will cost $3,995,000, and the repayment period will be for 20 years. The current building bond is set to expire in 2014. If the new bond passes, there will be a slight tax increase and the new bond will expire in 2032.

Student enrollment has remained strong over the last several years, and this continued growth has created a need for additional classroom space. The school district held two listening sessions, and the task force held six meetings, to determine the priority areas and needs of the building.

A consensus was reached that the best plan included the construction of a new band and choir room, gymnasium with locker rooms (the gym is a classroom space that serves 14 elementary physical education classes, six high school physical education classes, several adaptive physical education students, and also serves as a multipurpose room to conduct large classroom projects and experiments), storage and concession stand; renovation and remodeling to create new special education classrooms, a larger dining area, an appropriate stage area in the auditorium, a new sixth grade classroom in the elementary hallway (the existing sixth grade classroom is located in the high school hallway), a larger fourth grade classroom that was initially built as a teacher workroom back in 1994, and a new multi-media classroom, where the current sixth grade classroom is located; and $375,000 in a heating system and indoor quality upgrades.

The Verndale School District has a tradition of school pride and excellence. These two factors have generated growth in student enrollment and created a need for additional building space. This need has been reviewed and confirmed by the task force members and residents of our school district. Please take time to review the information that has been presented to make an informed vote on Aug.14.