Information abounds about $35.7 million bond proposal - Omaha.com
Published Monday, October 21, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 10:54 pm
Springfield Platteview
Information abounds about $35.7 million bond proposal

Residents of the Springfield Platteview school district will have plenty of opportunities to learn more about a proposed $35.7 million school bond issue in the coming days.

Supporters of the measure have formed a committee to spread the word in advance of the Nov. 12 mail-in ballot deadline. The group, called Securing All Future Education, or SAFE, began going door-to-door last week, delivering brochures and answering questions.

The group also created a Facebook page, collecting more than 160 likes or followers in less than a week.

To vote

» The Sarpy County Election commissioner plans to mail ballots Oct. 25. They must be returned to the election office — not just postmarked — by 5 p.m. Nov. 12.

» Voters may mail back the ballots, drop them off at the election office during business hours or use the office’s outdoor drop box, which is available at all times. The office is at 501 Olson Drive, Suite 4, in Papillion.

To register to vote

» Residents seeking to register by mail, or in person at the Sarpy County Department of Motor Vehicles, 1210 Golden Gate Drive, Papillion, must do so by Oct. 25. After that, residents have until Nov. 1 to register in person at the election office. The office will be open until 6 p.m. that day.

Source: Wayne Bena, Sarpy County election commissioner

“The main thrust of what we're doing is informing our neighbors and community members about the issues with the school buildings,” said Darren Carlson, a committee member.

The Springfield Platteview school board voted unanimously in September to place the bond proposal before voters. The bond issue, if adopted, would cover a number of safety and security upgrades as well as additions and renovations to the district's 40- and 50-year-old buildings.

Brenda Sherman, the school board's president and the mother of four Springfield Platteview students, said the district has worked over the years to maintain facilities. That maintenance, however, isn't keeping pace with buildings' needs.

“With the current low bond market and reasonable building costs, time is crucial to pursue a major facility upgrade,” she said in a statement.

Neither Sherman, Carlson nor school officials were aware of any organized opposition to the bond issue.

The proposal calls for tornado shelters at each school. An addition connecting the junior and senior high schools would serve as a tornado shelter and a multipurpose room with locker rooms and fitness facilities.

The connection also would make for safer transit of students and faculty going between the two buildings. Students and staff occasionally slip and fall on the sloped path during the winter.

The proposal also would provide for secure front entrances at all four schools and for enclosing open classrooms at Westmont Elementary and the junior high. Also included are infrastructure upgrades and improvements aimed at meeting modern educational needs, such as updates to media centers and science classrooms and labs.

“Every building has a useful life,” Carlson said, “and these need to be updated.”

Carlson said the committee's Facebook page includes photos showing building needs. With his oldest child in elementary school, he said, he wasn't aware of the needs in other buildings until he toured them. The photos are intended to help inform those who might not be able to participate in tours.

“For a lot of people, seeing is believing,” he said. “If we can't take them to the school, we can certainly show them online.”

Carlson said about two dozen district residents have been actively involved in the committee. Enrollment is up, he said, as is interest in the school district. The house next to his sold in a day, he said.

A 6 percent increase in enrollment boosted Springfield Platteview to 1,012 students this year, up from 952 last year.

Under the $35.7 million proposal, homeowners would pay an additional 25.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, or an increase of $252 a year in property taxes on a home valued at $100,000 for tax purposes. Springfield Platte­view's current $1.08 property tax levy is the second-lowest in the 11-district Learning Community.

A question-and-answer sheet posted on the district's website notes that the district has been unable to set aside funds for large projects. This year, the district will lose more than $1.8 million in tax dollars to the Learning Community through its common levy.

The school district has scheduled its own informational meetings and tours for Saturday at all four school buildings.

The presentation and question-and-answer sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at each building — Platteview High School, Platteview Central Junior High School, Springfield Elementary and Westmont Elementary. Building tours will follow from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

School district administrators will be available to answer questions at each building during parent-teacher conferences Wednesday and Thursday. District residents can also schedule appointments with Superintendent Brett Richards to discuss school bond questions by calling 402-592-1300, and the school board will set aside time during its 7 p.m. work session Oct. 28 to answer questions from the public.

The district also is planning to mail informational brochures this week, and information on the bond issue and the facilities plan are available online at www.springfieldplatteview.org and www.springfield-platteview-bond.com.

“I know it's a large bond,” Sherman said, “but we need a lot of things.”

Contact the writer: Julie Anderson

julie.anderson@owh.com    |   402-444-1223

Julie splits her time between K-12 education, covering several area school districts and private schools, and general assignment stories.

Police i.d. body found near 36th, Seward Streets
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
TD Ameritrade says profit up 35 percent in second quarter
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
OPS bus, SUV collide; no students onboard at the time
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »