Rebounding from a failed $35.7 million bond issue in November, the Springfield Platteview Community Schools is surveying residents to help determine what building improvements people would support.
Superintendent Brett Richards said the district’s nearly 40-year-old buildings still need renovations and additions to address safety and security, academic and extra-curricular programs and basic building infrastructure.
The bond issue failed by a margin of approximately 58 percent to 42 percent. Slightly fewer than half of the district’s registered voters cast ballots in the mail-in election.
The measure, which would have been the largest ever in the district, included tornado shelters for each school as well as secure front entrances and enclosure of open classrooms at two buildings. It included improvements to media centers and science classrooms and labs.
Richards said getting feedback from residents will be important going forward. The district held a number of public meetings leading up to the bond vote, but few people attended. Most of them supported the bond proposal.
A number of other districts, he said, have had gotten good return rates using surveys. The district’s goal is to help identify priority projects and determine whether the district should attempt another bond election in 2014.
In talking to residents since the vote, Richards said, he’s heard that a lot of people would support upgrades but not at the cost the district proposed. One survey question asks what range of costs respondents would support, noting that the district’s tax levy is the second lowest in the area.
The survey also asks how important it is for the district to improve its facilities, given the need to compete with surrounding districts to protect its boundaries, retain its own students and attract new ones.
The district planned to mail the 15-question surveys on Friday. An online version will be available soon at www.springfield-platteview-bond.com The school board will meet to review results and take input from the community Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Platteview High School cafeteria.