Committee ready to send facilities proposal to USD 489 board

The USD 489 Facilities Needs Committee approved its final draft recommendation Friday morning.

The USD 489 Facilities Needs Committee approved its final draft recommendation Friday morning.

Hays Post

After studying the issue for more than a year, the Hays USD 489 facilities needs committee is ready to offer a draft plan to the community for a district-wide upgrade of buildings.

During its meeting Friday morning, the group voted to pass along its recommendation to the school board.  The price tag on the projects is approximately $100 million, which is proposed to be funded by a bond issue.

“This is a conceptual design, and we fully expect the board to do some tweaking,” said co-chairman Patrick Lowry.

“This process has been extremely enlightening in how everything works. There just hasn’t been much maintenance and upkeep of our district buildings the past 30 years, and they’re nearing the end of their useful life,” added co-chairman Bryce Young.

Several committee members expressed concern about the cost, although just one person, Paul Briseno, voted against the final draft.

“It’s going to take a lot of education of the public,” said member Tom Drees.”Tough, but doable, I think.”

The project would involve upgrades at each building in the district, including more than $27 million at Hays High School alone.

It also would lead to the decommissioning of Rockwell Administration Center and closing Washington Elementary School as an education center.

The committee’s executive summary says increasing space and curriculum demands call for “significant expansions and maintenance updates across the district.”

The cost to build new across the district would be $188 million, the report says.

Much of the costs included in the overall plan focus on deferred maintenance, projects put off over the course of years that have led to significant needs.

Safety/security measures and education space also were key factors in the committee’s recommendation. The recommendation also takes into account both current needs and anticipated future growth.

Several options for a bond issue are offered as possibilities, including separating the tax increases into three separate bond issues.

For the owner of a $100,000 home, the property tax cost to offset the bond repayment — whether for 20 or 30 years, or over one or three bond issues — would range from $17.06 to $21.85 monthly.

  • briner

    bring it on. everybody is entitled to one vote. i’m voting no. there’s things that need to be done but not 100 million dollars worth.

  • Guest

    “This is a conceptual design, and we fully expect the board to do some tweaking,” said co-chairman Patrick Lowry.

    You think? At a price tag of $100 million, were you tweaking when you wrote this proposal, Mr. Editor?

  • Disgruntled

    Why haven’t buildings been kept up over the years? We have to keep up our homes , we can’t build new all the time when they get old. We have enough help in our district, why isn’t it done? Answer this please.

    • KEEPitREALbruh

      It is called “public ownership.” Why would people maintain things they don’t personally own? There is no motivation in the public “sector” besides getting publicity by building something through theft of the taxpayers and just plain old theft in general. Welcome to reality

    • jepson

      don’t get fooled. the buildings are still solid. no foundation problems. lets get our roofs fixed and plumbing. but most of this 100 million dollars is to add on to existing buildings. 100 million? i vote no.

    • Now sleep in it

      The money for all the teachers raises over the years had to come from somewhere and now the district is paying for it. It is the previous admin and some current and past board members that put us in this situation. Now we need out, the buildings are embarrassing when you compare Hays to other towns of this size in Kansas. But Hays and Hays money is dominated by TMP and its alum so I don’t see this having a shot because TMP past and present doesn’t like paying for their school and ours and how can blame them.

      • FHSU student

        The teachers didn’t get ‘raises over the years’. You should do some research before posting. They have been in a wage freeze for several years now. They did finally receive a small increase this year. If you want to blame someone, blame the state and Brownback for all the cuts made to education funding.

  • Backward community

    Why are there so few women on the board? I know that this is a Republican strong hold where women actually support not having insurance to get birth control. But do they also support having so little say so about education? Oy!

  • sensible

    Mr. Briseno is the only sane one on the committee. he lives in the real world. i’m voting no on this proposal.

    • Nonsense!

      Yeah, he’s sane! Bike trail, downtown gateway Briseno, who lives & works in the fictional place called Chestnut St.. I think his family attends TMP.

      • What?

        I don’t know anything about the guy, but what does his family attending TMP have to do with it? If this proposal passes, he’d still have to pay his share.

        • Christian or selfish

          Duh! That’s why he’s voted no! TMP wouldn’t even contribute a cent to USD 489 for the ‘turn out’ on Victory road.

          • You tell me…

            Nor did they charge for the use of it, I believe. Pretty nice, free use for how many years??? Plus, Briseno doesn’t represent TMP’s interests/thoughts.

      • Half

        2 of his kids go to TMP and 2 go to USD 489, they let the kids be a part of that conversation. So he has irons in both fires and is giving his honest opinion, no agenda this time.

  • French

    Another tax increase…….

    • Let’s Pass A Bond

      A tax increase to improve our schools! Do you really have a problem with that? God forbid you part with a $20 bill every month!!!!!
      Vote Yes! Remember, Briseno sees this as antagonistic to what the city might want!!

      • poppyseed

        $20 can make a huge impact on persons with a fixed income. Some people struggle with the cost of inflation with out the benefit of financial increases. We all don’t indulge in Starbucks and eating out on a regular basis. Where do you suggest we cut back to support all the tax increases in this town?

        • passin_threw

          Probably not on a fixed income if you own a $100000 home tho

          • Retired

            How the heck would you know? There are plenty of older folks who own homes who live on fixed incomes. What an ignorant statement. Feel free to pay my share since you seem to have plenty of disposable income.

          • Uncle Thomas

            how about you put 489 in your will

          • passin_threw

            Sounds to me that they don’t have a mortgage payment them. No lottery tickets this week and they should be ine

          • Don’t Live In A Mansion

            A $100,000 in Hays America probably isn’t that nice of a home. Home prices here seem very high. In fact, I’d venture to guess if you bought a $100K home, you’d probably need to spend more to fix it up.

  • Not a wealthy parent

    Wow! For less then $40/month all necessary improvements to our schools can be achieved, that’s pretty manageable! You people that are so quick to say “no” make my stomach turn. I have no problem paying taxes for schools, roads and emergency services, for without them we are in dire straits. If this is what we need then why not do it?? It’s always about the children until it’s actually time to do something for the children. Oooohh, $100 million, that’s way too much…really, look at your other tax dollars, we can build baseball parks and dog parks but we can’t shore up our structures of education!!?? Shame on anyone who says no without thinking it through!
    I will vote YES!!!!

    • Uncle Thomas

      I wouldn’t care if we built all new schools pre-k through 12. I wouldn’t care if the students were required to attend 12 months out of the year. I wouldn’t care if we built a new $50 million jail. I wouldn’t care if it cost me $300 extra per month! What irks me is the incompetent SOB’s who can not manage the investment. We skimp on quality people.
      I will pray we have the right directors/managers/supervisors in place to handle the responsibility.
      I VOTE YES!

    • AARP View

      There is no doubt that our Hays community is taxed pretty hard. Times are tough for a lot of folks and money is tight. But aren’t schools something we should be trying to preserve? If we wait until the schools are falling in then it will take a lot more money to repair or build. Sounds like the best course of action is to pass a bond now rather then out it off for later. I hope this community comes together and gets it passed. We are talking about schools people! My vote will be YES and looking at the cost to most homeowners or commercial property owners, well, the cost truly is manageable!
      Hays needs this, the district needs this so Vote Yes!

  • Guest 12

    Bring anything you want I will be voting NO. But Hays has a lot of Yes people.

    • Just curious


      • Guest 12

        I have mine reason. Hays has wasted enough money. And I don’t no damn school.

        • English

          I beg to differ given your grammar above.

  • Can’t afford it all!

    We have more important things to do…like million dollar gateways to Chestnut St., bike trails, convention centers, downtown pavilions, downtown building restorations, & CID sales tax increases, to name a few of the things in the City Comprehensive plan. Oops, almost forgot the 70 mile water pipeline

  • Guest 12

    We have people on this committee that things Hays is Salina, Dodge City it’s funny they always have big plans. First thing that comes out of there mouth is raise taxes. I don’t need any schools and I will be voting NO.

    • Guie LeDeuche

      Wow. Yea, no reason there to spend more on education; none at all.

  • 1776 Again

    How ironic that the City of Hays representative voted not to increase tax and governmental spending! But it is well explained by the competition for our tax dollars to fund all of these communal projects is getting tighter and tighter. Obviously, his and the City’s priorities are a new gateway to downtown made up of buildings rebuilt with half tax dollars, a ten foot / 6 inch deep bike path from Hall to 183 and all along the dike, a convention center funded by shoppers who will have no invitation or welcome at the Convention Center, bike lanes on 13th street, taking care of all of that money ($65 Million in sales tax) saved for a water pipeline and ranch that will never be allowed by state law to move water from the Ark to Smokey watersheds, on and one and on.
    Maybe the city should have a task force made up of people outside of city government to make decisions on their spending. We are headed to a fork in the road that leads one way…austerity…it will be either our choice, or befall us.
    The tax payers are tapped out, the well is nearly dry and the natives are restless.