District hopes for bond approval

The+bond+will+include+infrastructure+improvements+for+the+school%27s+technology

Jack Moreh

The bond will include infrastructure improvements for the school’s technology

Shelby Smith, News Editor and Copy Editor

On Tuesday, November 3, voters in the Rochester Community Schools District (RCS) will vote on the passage of a new bond.   While the district considers passage of this proposal to be important for a variety of reasons, they want to make it clear to voters that passage of the bond does not result in an increase in their taxes.

If it passes, the bond will benefit students in many ways.  Safe and secure entrances and technology upgrades will be addressed.  The funds from the bond will also be used to fund updates, renovations, and construction throughout Rochester Community Schools. These improvements will be made in seven general categories: school safety and security, critical maintenance for roofs as well as electrical and mechanical issues, upgrading technology and systems, renovating school and classroom interiors and renewing furniture, creating permanent spaces for pre-Kindergarten, adult and special education purposes, enhancing school sites, playgrounds, athletic and fine arts facilities, and replacing school buses.

As far as the upgrade in technology is concerned, AHS looks forward to the improvements.

“The school is desperately in need of an upgraded and uniform infrastructure throughout the school. These updates could make learning in the school mobile through students personal devices,” said Media Specialist Mrs. Brenda Carlson.

“Also, the library furniture has been in use for more than 40 years; it is far past time for replacements. They are completely falling apart. We have one sitting in the office that is not even usable anymore,” said Carlson.

“This bond would provide the district with necessary funds not already in the general budget. With the bond we can get a lot of work done and upgrade all the buildings. It would be a struggle to do these things without the bond. The bond will be sure to touch every school in the district,” said Cumming.

According to the district website, this proposal will support the district’s long-range facilities plan, “assuring that the learning environment is up-to-date and the schools and school facilities are upgraded, renovated and kept in good repair.”

“The bond is, in a way, like a loan to the district. The bond is for 185 million dollars and the district will eventually have to pay back the money with interest,” said Adams  Principal Mr. Kevin Cumming. “Some things might happen right away. As soon as next summer, students may begin to see smaller changes with bigger changes, such as roofing fixes, being made in the next few years,” Mr. Cumming said.

Taxes will not be raised, but the current rate will be extended for an additional five years. After that time, the rate will begin to go down as the district’s debts are paid off. Additionally, all proceeds from this bond will stay in the RCS district and be used to facilitate the necessary improvements throughout the district. Without the bond money, the projects laid out in the bond will not be able to be completed.

If passed, the bond may also have a positive effect on property values within the district. Districts with high quality programs and facilities tend to have higher property values than those with lacking schools.

An important aspect to the bond is that the money cannot go towards staff salaries or operating costs. Bond funds are reserved only for the purposes outlined in the ballot.