St. John’s—– St. Johns public schools proposed a 64 million-bond in 2010. Passing with 53.7 percent, the approval of the bond has given St Johns opportunities to improve a number of their facilities. From the football stadium to the new wing of the school, the bond has affected everyone and everything in St Johns public schools.
The bond proposal was superintendent Ken Ladocuer’s baby. Ladocuer lobbied hard for the proposal and was faced with much opposition. Now that the bond has passed and the improvements have started, Ladocuer believes there are fewer detractors.
“At first people were skeptical, giving away there own hard earned money is not something people want to do,” said Ladocuer. “I think now that they see the renovations, they can firmly say that they are worth their 145 dollars a year.”
There are numerous facilities being built straight from the bond. Athletic and academic facilities are being renovated or being built. The bond money has significantly improved the St Johns public schools experience.
“Our community is filled with Redwing pride,” said Ladocuer. “We are adding an additional 100,000 sq. feet to the school, which will include a new gym, swimming pool, cafeteria, and of course the new football stadium.”
The new football stadium has been all the buzz around St Johns high school. After the old stadium’s bleachers were deemed unfit for use, a new stadium was a must. The bond money made the stadium possible. It has benefitted the athletes, parents, and faculty.
“The new stadium has been like a breath of fresh air,” said Dave Mariage, varsity football coach. “No one is scared to sit in the bleachers and we can be proud to host football games here.”
The improvements to the high school don’t just stop at the athletic facilities. There is a new wing being built with 14 new classrooms and science labs. There was safety issues with the pod format of classrooms, were students were not always visibly as they came and went. This is being replaced with a large classroom wing that will make it easier to insure student’s safety. Entrances to the facility had been a major safety problem. With the renovations there will be two main entrances at opposite sides of the school.
“Safety was a huge problem at the high school, and the bond has allowed us to make sure the students are safe and accounted for,” said Ladocuer.
Technology is another improvement coming from the bond. Over five million dollars has been put into teaching technology. This teaching technology includes new multimedia boards, new computers, and new security systems.
“We were severely lacking in the technology department before the bond,” said Dan Davenport, information director at St Johns high school. “Now we are preparing for a web-based and wireless curriculum in the near future.”
The switch to new technology has helped not only the faculty, but also the students. Students now can engage easier, and relate to the new technology.
“We’ve seen in an increase in student engagement with the new technology,” said Davenport. “There has less behavioral problems and students are constantly getting more out of their courses.”
With all the new changes, people may have thought there’s no way the plan could be on schedule. Even with the construction of the new wing and football stadium, the plan remains on time.
“We’re progressing really well with everything”, said Ladocuer. “We might even end up finishing ahead of schedule, everything has been smooth.”
St Johns public schools is not the district it used to be. The bond has allowed the schools to become safer, technologically advanced, and more attractive to the eye. Take this account from a former student as an indication of the change.
“I went back, and I couldn’t believe my eyes,” said Jerome Taylor, former St Johns high school student. “The bond money has been put to good use, and now I’m honored to say I went to St. John’s high school.”