Dist. 877 to make bond election decision

The Dist. 877 Buffalo School Board expects to make a decision at its Aug. 11 meeting regarding a potential bond election for this November.

At its recent board meeting, the board heard another update from Finance and Operations Director Gary Kawlewski and Buildings and Grounds Director John Heltunen about facility needs around the district and the process the board would have to follow if they decide to go forward with a bond election in November.

Kawlewski shared three new items that have come up since the June workshop presentation. First is a fly system proposed for the Buffalo High School (BHS) Performing Arts Center (PAC) that could be replaced by a “black box theater” type set-up. Second, the high efficiency boiler replacement for Tatanka Elementary School has been figured into the Tatanka classroom addition project. Third would move the entrance of Discovery to the north side of the building.

Mock drawings were shared for a variety of building improvements around the district. Illustrations show how entrances would be reconfigured for Discovery, Hanover and Tatanka Elementary Schools to direct traffic through the school office (much like the entrances at Montrose, Northwinds and Parkside). A drawing was also shared on new access to the pool area at the Buffalo Community Middle School.

BHS would also repurpose one big classroom (currently a science room on the east end of the building) into two smaller classrooms. A “black box theater” space would be added in the PAC area (behind the stage in the northeast corner of the building) and would provide more classroom space, rehearsal space and storage space.

Kawlewski also shared drawings illustrating new space for gymnastics (north end of building by the activity center entrance) and ball fields surrounding the high school. Softball fields would be moved to the west end of the school (by the activity center) and the baseball field would remain on the north end. The soccer fields would remain on the north end and a football stadium (with a track) and a practice field would be added where the softball fields were located. The addition of these spaces would help alleviate the current overcrowded, overused fields at both the high school and middle school.

The board will review all of the information about the facilities that was presented (in June and July). It will make a decision regarding a bond election for November 2014 at a special board meeting Monday, Aug. 11, prior to the regular workshop meeting.