Mason Public Schools begin updates from $69.7 million bond issue

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Inspire. Empower. Succeed. That is the motto of Mason Public Schools. With a $69.7 million bond approval, Mason Public Schools plan to continue to do just that.

A $69.7 million bond is designated to improve the district.

On Nov. 7, 2017, the proposal was approved and upgrades are scheduled to start this year. Bond issues are repaid with property taxes. According to Mason Public Schools, the millage that will be levied for proposed bonds in 2018 is 2.86 mills, or $2.86, on every $1,000 of taxable valuation. The bond must be paid off within 30 years. The estimated average annual millage to retire the debt is 3.87 mils, or $3.87 on every $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Not only does each school receive specific improvements, the bond includes upgrades to safety and security, technology, site circulation, HVAC and mechanical and facility upgrades.

In wake of the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, school security has become a huge topic. With the bond, Mason Public Schools will significantly improve security measures they already have put in place. The bond will secure building entries at all schools, reorganize all elementary schools for safer parking, pedestrian, and traffic circulation, update and increase video surveillance systems, replace the aging school bus fleet, improve playgrounds and create lacking fire-loops.

Security is not only a parent’s concern, but students are concerned as well. Student Daman Nallamothu said, “Schools definitely need to have better security, but only if it’s by people who have years of trained experience.”

The technology improvements will take place over seven years. Student Jack Kirlwan said technology can improve student learning.

“For me personally, it can really help me stay organized, especially with notes,” he said. “I can open a new Google Doc and take notes quickly in class.”

When it comes to student growth, classroom environments are needed to help students succeed. The update of district-wide wireless and data network will allow students and faculty to connect their own devices to suit their personal learning styles. Classroom multimedia upgrades will also be improved to help students see and hear content better. Cafeterias will also be upgraded to provide a place for healthy food choices. The installation of multi-purpose rooms will provide learning space outside of the classroom for physical education, indoor recess, large-group instruction, multi-class use and community use.

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