Serving the community since 1867
109 W. Fourth St. - P.O. Box 311 - Holton, Kansas 66436 - 785-364-3141
It’s likely that there’s a lot more support for a new elementary school here in Holton than the school district’s recent telephone survey of 347 patrons indicated.
Let’s hope so because Holton really needs a new Pre-K through Grade 5 school to replace its two old ones and this likely will be the last year that the state ever guarantees to pay 50 percent or more of the total costs.
Without a definite building site listed on the telephone survey, it is not surprising that there was about a 50-50 split on whether school patrons, so far, are in favor of building a new school.
The proposed location of a new school is a very important part of the deal for many.
Some of the telephone survey results are reported in a story that appeared in the print edition of The Recorder. Obviously, you can spin such survey results in many directions to fit your own views.
Time constraints regarding election laws required the school board to decide on Monday evening whether to expand the current Colorado Elementary School campus to the west for renovation and/or new construction or to build a completely new school on the west edge of town.
I favored Option Three – the plan to build a new school on a completely new site on the west side of town.
The other two options, including the option ultimately chosen by the school board, involved expanding the current Colorado school campus to the west - purchasing several homes in the process - and neither one provided enough additional land for everything that will be needed, not the least of which is adequate school parking and safe pick-up and drop-off drive-through lanes for parents and school buses.
It is not an exaggeration, in my opinion, to state that the upcoming school bond election for USD 336 will be the most important decision that the community will make in this generation.
Consider the property tax increase projections reported in our story about the telephone survey results.
Without 50 percent or more state aid for such new school plans in the future, the district will be required to double those tax increase estimates.
I am 95 percent sure that there will never be a better time for the Holton school district to approve a new school bond issue.
I am 100 percent sure that without good schools, small communities like ours should not be expected to grow and keep pace in the modern society.
Likewise, I am 100 percent sure that a new elementary school in Holton is the best return investment on our taxes that we will ever see.