Mail In Bond Issue Due Today

Example bond issue ballot.

Sophia Belshe

Example bond issue ballot.

Sophia Belshe, Writer

Shawnee Mission is conducting its first mail in ballot to decide the fate of a $223 million bond issue that could pay for new schools, renovations, school safety, security and technology.

“I usually always do a mail in ballot for the regular election so I already knew how it worked… It didn’t take me long at all,” said special education teacher Stan Stern.

If approved, some of the bond would be used for safety and security projects for all of the districts schools. There would also be money to put towards continuing the technology expansion.

Also riding on this bond is the future of the aquatic center that has been proposed. The location of this aquatic center has been debated since it was proposed that it replace the prairie habitat of the SMESL, but that has since been taken off the table after over 1,200 people signed a petition asking the board to find a new location. If the bond is passed, the aquatic center would likely go next to the football stadium, where the sophomore lot is now.

The stadium will also be renovated rather than torn down if the bond passes, so the construction on the aquatic center and the stadium could happen at roughly the same time.

“This was always the preferred location,” said Shawnee Mission spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal in a Kansas City Star article.

The bond would also allow five elementary schools to be rebuilt. Rhein Benninghoven, Crestview, Trailwood, Briarwood, and a West area school that has yet to be announced would be rebuilt, one from every high school area.

Other projects that depend on this bond include the replacement of the district’s 20 year old air conditioning systems, the replacement of practice field turf at middle schools and high schools, upgrades to little theaters at the high schools, replacement of roofs, floor and ceiling tiles, and remodeling to kitchens to make them full-service in all schools.

The ballots for this bond were mailed out Jan. 7 and the deadline for sending them back in is noon Jan. 27.