The halls of Mason’s Steele Elementary school were buzzing with talk and footsteps as the tour group shuffled from class to class hearing about what was to become of the school if the new bond passed.
Superintendent Ron Drzewicki started the Bond Information Community Forum with a short video about Mason and all it has to offer those who live here and those who are coming. Drzewicki then dove into a 42-slide presentation about the goals of the bond issue and what the timeline would look like if it passes. He showed what updates each school would receive, where the construction would be at the schools and what the cost would be if voters approve the $69 million bond issue.
After the presentation, Drzewicki invited questions for himself or the five members of the forum panel.
“I was on the previous bond committee and when that failed, I knew I just had to be a part of the solution and to help the schools,’ said Chris Waltz, school study committee chairwoman, “I’ve had five kids go through here and I believe that a strong school makes for a stronger community. I think we have a really good agenda for this bond to pass.”
Waltz said her passion for education has driven her and her husband into trying to make Mason better. Waltz’s husband is on the Mason City Council.
The moods in the room varied from intrigued and hopeful to annoyed and confused. One community member said the bond is a good idea, but disliked the way the board is proposing it.
“I agree that things like infrastructure and HVAC need to be done now, but how they are proposing the bond is misleading and not honest,” said Mitchell Perrault, “I think they need to break it up into two separate bonds. Splitting the one bond into three series is a long and costly process.”
Perrault was also on the school study committee.
The bond follows a $79 million proposal that voters rejected in 2016. The bond committee hopes that community forums and walkthroughs can get the community more involved and understand why the board is trying to pass another bond so soon.
The school bond will be voted on in the upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 7.