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The total amount of the bond issue is $421 million. The plan calls for $131,033,651 for fire, life safety, security and technology upgrades; $259,766,144 for capital improvements and renovations; and $30,147,200 for increasing capacity in high-growth areas.
November 4th, 2014.
The owner of a $150,000 home would see their OPS share of property taxes go up $90 a year – which equates to $1.73 per week.
The funds would be used to:
· provide security and fire and life safety improvements
· renovate four ‘open plan’ schools
· modernize technology infrastructure
· perform capital improvements and renovations
· replace Belle Ryan, Columbian, Western Hills, and Yates
· acquire land, design, and site improvements for two new elementary schools in south Omaha
· acquire land, design, and site improvements for a new high school in south Omaha
· acquire land, design, and site improvements for a new high school in west Omaha
· fire detection and alarm system replacements
· roof and window replacements
· replacement and/or installation of heating and air systems
· safety doors and hardware
· card access/video intercoms
· modernize paging and public address systems
· Internet connectivity/wireless infrastructure
· fire sprinkler system installation
Overall enrollment grew from about 47,700 in 2007 to over 51,000 in 2013. The district has over 240 portable classrooms to provide classrooms for overcrowded buildings.
All four buildings need 1) to be brought up to ADA and other federal requirements, and 2) major renovations.
· Belle Ryan Elementary, built in 1953, has not been renovated and needs major structural improvements
· Columbian Elementary, built in 1970, has not been renovated and needs major structural improvements
· Western Hills Elementary, built in 1953, has not been renovated and needs major structural improvements
· Yates Elementary, built in 1917, needs major structural improvements
Open concept buildings require modification in order to lock and secure classroom spaces from adjoining areas.
In short, the district has not had a bond issue in 15 years. Without additional funding for capital projects during that time, the district has not been able to keep up with the increasing number of students.
If the bond issues passes, work will begin as soon as possible. Most projects will be completed within 5 to 8 years.
The alternative to the bond issue is simply to maintain existing facilities to the best extent possible. There would not be funding for the security and fire and life safety needs, technology upgrades, building renovations, and capital improvements.