Maize, Newton schools have bond issues up for a vote

Local

MAIZE, Kan. (KSNW) – Taxpayers in the Maize school district have a decision to make. There are two questions on a new $108 million bond.

Newton schools has two questions that include upgrades at the 1973 high school and a possible new school for grades K-6 south of highway 50.

Both are making big pushes as the votes are happening this month.

“We’ve been talking a lot about the difference between wants and needs,” said Maize USD 266 Superintendent Dr. Chad Higgins.

Last bond issue, the Maize district tried to get voters to ‘say yes’ to a full size swimming pool, along with other bond improvements. The pool issue did not get a yes vote.

This time Maize schools included a smaller pool and a multi-purpose building to address more diverse needs. They also are asking for two new intermediate schools because the district adds up to 200 kids a year.

“We tried to find a way to make the swimming pool more palatable but obviously it doesn’t hit every student in the district,” said Dr. Higgins. “But we’ve paired it with an auditorium which is something we really need. Putting them in the same facility, we can use the same parking lot.”

Newton school leaders say adding another K-6 elementary would help with class size. But that is question two. It only passes if question one is a yes vote. The first question includes things like revamping the high school, adding a science wing and a storm shelter.

So the 373 district has tried hard to let people know about the bond and what it could mean.

“We have tried to communicate in a variety of ways.,” said USD 373 Superintendent, Dr. Deborah Hamm.

Newton schools has extensively used social media and the school website to talk about the need for adding a storm shelter and the other issues. They continue to engage the community now with voting on the way.

Ballots are going out in the mail this week in the Newton district.

“We’ve done a number of presentations to local groups. We’ve also had round tables,” said Dr. Hamm. “We’ve also provided tours of our buildings.”

Maize schools built new lockers for some schools because of a space issue.

Maize is mailing flyers to get out the vote, starting now for early mail-in ballots. Early voting in-person is happening now at the Sedgwick County Election Office through the 26th of this month.

Both Maize and Newton schools have extensive show and tell on their websites for their bond issues.

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