Purchase photos

Ellis school district aims for another bond issue

8/20/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- Patrons of Ellis USD 388 will be asked again to approve a bond issue.

The USD 388 Board of Education voted last week to pursue the bond in the November election, Superintendent Bob Young said.

The board is hoping for a different outcome this time after voters defeated a $10 million bond proposal last year.

After that bond failed to pass, Young said decisions still have to be made about the secondary gym, football field and wrestling room.

The school district is faced with aging facilities, the need to transport students for classes and activities, and space issues.

The list of improvements is similar to the one for last year's bond, and the amount of the bond could be "up to $9 million."

Final details haven't been hammered out yet, but there has been much discussion about what projects to include, he said.

The general plan is to build classrooms and office space for the junior high at Ellis High School, pay off the $1.5 million in HVAC improvements and replace the HVAC at Washington Grade School. Building a secondary gym, football field and track also are on the list.

The football field might look good to passers-by because of rains earlier this summer, but there are bare patches.

"It's still pretty hard," Young said of the playing surface.

The weight room and wrestling room are off the bond list.

A new 8,000-square-foot pre-engineered building was built on the northwest corner of the high school parking lot earlier this year to house them.

Total cost of the project, $325,000, came from the capital outlay fund.

Local fundraising added more than $86,000 to replace old equipment and make other needed improvements.

It's early in the process, and the board hasn't developed a strategy for getting information to the public.

Young expects the board to name committees and look for volunteers to get out and "knock on doors."