Bond would improve Bordewich-Bray Elementary

Kirk Kinne remembers when there was an elementary school on almost every block. He remembers when part of Division Street was blocked off every day to serve as a playground and he remembers going to eighth grade at Bordewich Elementary School - where he has served as principal for 17 years - when it was the junior high.

He has seen a lot of changes in the district and a lot of changes at Bordewich/Bray, but there are still many changes that need to be made.

"This school is in need of improvement from practically every aspect," Kinne said.

From broken concrete to a new heating and air-conditioning system, a proposed $18 million bond would go a long way in improving the overall condition of the school, Director of Operations Mike Mitchell said.

It would not be the first overhaul the campus has seen.

When Kinne came on board in 1983, the building that preceded the current administration building was condemned because it would not withstand an earthquake.

The condemnation came during Christmas vacation, and Kinne recalls trying to shuffle teachers and students to different buildings to make up for the lost classrooms.

"It was a horror story," Kinne said.

The proposed changes for this bond will not be so dramatic.

Mitchell said although the school is in need of repairs, the two-story brick building is structurally sound.

"You would not want to tear a building like this down," he said. "It's much wiser to put money in it and get it up to code."

Kinne said he is also fond of the building.

"The building is 36 years old," he said. "It has served us well."

One of Kinne's major concerns is the heat of the classrooms. The sun reflects off the metal roof of the administrative building into the windows of the two-story building.

"It's stifling," Kinne said. "It has to be difficult for the students and has to be difficult for the teachers."

Mitchell said if the proposed bond passes in this year's election, the windows will all be replaced and a deflector will be added to prevent the reflection into the classrooms.

A new heating and air-conditioning system would also be added.

The current system was installed in 1959 and all the duct work is underground.

"As it gets dirty or has problems, there's no way to maintain it," Mitchell said. "We're looking forward to a new system."

The students will also have something to look forward to. The playground would be improved with a new lawn, asphalt and drainage system.

"You can envision this playground being the former football field," Kinne said of the patches of old grass.

The busing system will also be renovated. Nearly 70 percent of the district's special education students are bused to Bordewich/Bray for school.

"We need to reconfigure the driveway so that it doesn't cut the campus in half," Mitchell said. "The bond would make it a lot safer."

Built: Two-story brick building-1965

Administration building-1988

Bray building-1959

Estimated cost of improvements: Bordewich-$1.7 million


Number of students enrolled: 643


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