School district seeks bond for basic renovations |

School district seeks bond for basic renovations

by Teri Vance

Like a homeowner who needs major repairs on the house, officials hope voters will help them make some repairs to Carson City schools..

In an effort to renovate the area’s schools without increasing taxes, the Carson City School District is proposing an $18 million bond that would include only what supporters call the most essential projects.

“I call it a no-frills kind of thing,” said Mike Mitchell, director of operations.”We want to keep existing systems working.”

Mitchell met with administrators, building supervisors and some staff from each school to determine which projects need to be completed at each site.

He said the list is basic. For example, he said about $4 million was allotted to replace deteriorating asphalt.

“Replacing asphalt is not glamorous,” Mitchell said.

According to a survey conducted by Donald Carlson of Survey Research Systems, security and education are the top priorities.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said safety should be the number-one item addressed by the bond. Constructing a math and science lab also received 26 percent of the vote.

The proposed list dedicates about $2 million to safety and $460,000 to educational remodeling.

The district also named three additional categories where improvements are necessary.

One is to protect investments already made.

In the proposal submitted by Mitchell to the district it explains, “Many of our facilities are old and antiquated but with the proper investment, can serve the district for years to come. It is prudent to provide improvements which will allow for the most efficient operation of the facility and at the same time bring the buildings into code compliance wherever possible.”

About $6 million was set aside to updating the obsolete systems.

Around $2 million was dedicated to providing an equitable learning environment for all students.

Mitchell said that some schools are air-conditioned, while others are not.

“We’re not treating everybody equally here,” he said. “I think we need to do that.”

The final objective is to increase the level of technology within the classroom. The district tentatively scheduled about $4 million to this but has since cut it by $2.9 million.

Mitchell said he compares the proposed projects to a home owner who wants to make some major renovations, like a new roof. The home owner would probably not be able to afford the new roof but would take out a second mortgage.

“That’s all we’re asking,” Mitchell said. “We’re just asking for more money to do these projects.”

The district has been working with the Martin Johnson Consulting Firm out of Las Vegas as a bond consultant.

The district hopes to have a bond campaign committee formed by May 30 and have the final approval of the election question by June 27.

Voters rejected a proposed $48 million bond in 1996 elections.