Over the last few years, Kimball Area Public Schools has worked to develop a long-term plan to address our most critical needs at the elementary school and high school. Residents have provided valuable feedback throughout this process to ensure that this plan aligns with their top priorities.
Last summer, our district updated major portions of the heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems at both schools to improve indoor air quality and climate controls. Now, the district is proposing a plan to address the rest of our buildings’ most pressing needs.
Today, our 60-year-old high school and 30-year-old elementary school have infrastructure issues that extend well beyond the scope of general maintenance. For example, security at both schools needs to be modernized by updating entrances so that visitors must pass through the main office before they can access other parts of the buildings. In addition, the parking lots have reached the end of their lifespans. After years of chip sealing and patching, the pavement’s substantial holes and cracks create safety concerns.
At our high school, the science labs and family and consumer science (FACS) classrooms have not been updated since 1971. After 50 years, the aging equipment and cramped classrooms do not support modern curriculum and hands-on learning.
The high school’s security needs extend beyond the classroom. Our lack of designated space for visitors, including sports teams and officials, means they often have to wait in hallways and change in a storage room. In addition, events in the high school gym are difficult to supervise due to the various parts of the building utilized for each event.
At our elementary school, the biggest need is appropriate and dedicated space for our early childhood education programs. Currently, students are dropped off at the 59-year-old community education building that does not meet health and safety codes. Further, our preschoolers lack an age-appropriate playground. The district’s preschool playground was removed in 2020 due to old equipment and safety concerns.
In addition, the elementary gymnasium hosts both physical education and lunch, resulting in limited gym time for students. This setup also adds significant clean-up and tear-down time for maintenance staff. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, voters will consider a two-question referendum totaling $10.4 million that would address these needs. If both questions are approved, residents who own a home with a median value of $200,000 would see a property tax increase of about $8 per month starting in 2023.
Our district strives to prepare students for life-long success. That includes adapting our facilities to meet today’s standards for learning. Ultimately, this investment is the community’s decision. I encourage you to visit OurCubsOurFuture.org for details on the plan and answers to frequently asked questions. If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me via email at email@example.com or by phone at 320-398-5585 ext. 1332.
Superintendent of the Kimball Area Public School District