DeWitt Public Schools is proposing a $66 million bond to upgrade each of its six school buildings over the next six years. The proposal will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.
"Having out advisors to come and survey and take a look at the entire district and our facilities, it was determined that that amount of money would help us with really making sure that our buildings are well taken care of, expanding the life of the buildings," Superintendent Shanna Spickard said.
The proposed bond focuses on addressing aged building systems, updating educational technology and improving athletics, arts and extracurriculars.
"I know that one of the first things that we were wanting to do was the turf football field, but obviously the priority of those will come into play with what's going to reap us the most benefits early on," Spickard said.
The bond would pay for upgrades to HVAC units, roofing, lighting, parking lots and sidewalks. It would also provide students with what the district calls "devices at the ready."
"Devices at the ready is an interesting term. It is to make sure that students have the devices they need when they need them," Spickard said. "If students need them at home, we have devices for them at home. If they need them here for certain projects, whether they're publication projects or collaboration projects, that we have the types of devices when students need them and how they need them."
And if approved, the bond would not increase property taxes.
"Our financial advisors have told us that it is projected to be the same as the 2021 levy, so it's a continuation versus an increase," Spickard said.
The district's last bond in 2016 focused on safety upgrades, educational technology and enhancing learning environments.
"The time has come where these once deferred projects are now priorities,” Assistant Superintendent Rob Spagnuolo wrote in a press release. “One of the projects we’re really excited about is installing a turf field at the stadium. This will allow greater flexibility in the use of the space and open up the field to a wider range of athletic teams as well as our marching band. We also have other projects planned at the baseball, softball and soccer fields, as well as the school gymnasiums, band facilities, high school pool, track and fine arts areas.”
The district plans to undertake an informational campaign to inform the DeWitt community about the proposed bond projects. A public forum will be held Monday, Sept. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at the Board of Education Office. More information about the proposed bond can be found below and here.
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