School bathrooms often not operational, votes needed for bond issue to repair
Did you know that bathrooms in Snyder Public Schools are often not fully working? Students, teachers and staff encounter closed toilets multiple times a week, and many stalls are not operational due to damaged sewer pipes. These issues affect the Primary, Elementary and FFA Buildings, and a bond issue is needed to fund repairs.
Students and staff also lack hot water for handwashing, and some restrooms don’t offer adequate privacy from lack of doors.
The cause of the sewer problems is a very old sewer system needing extensive reconstruction. School administrators and board members have consulted with experts and developed a detailed plan and budget for much-needed sewer repairs and restroom remodels, but votes for the bond issue are needed to establish funding for the project.
According to a recent Forbes article, school districts often finance capital improvements (renovations or new buildings) by issuing bonds. Taxpayers pay off bonds over time, usually through increased property taxes. When the bond is paid off, the tax bills go down again, unless a new bond is issued.
A taxpayer cost analysis prepared by Stephen L. Smith Corporation shows a Snyder citizen currently paying property taxes of $1,000 per year would see an increase of $14.57 per month to fund this bond issue. Voters can view details of their potential increase and use a specialized tax calculator at sites.google.com/snyder.k12.ok.us/snyderbond2023.
This bond will provide Snyder Schools with complete bathroom renovations at three locations: the Primary, Elementary and FFA Buildings. The bond will cover all costs of design, demolition and reconstruction. The amount of the bond is based on the construction and design cost estimates and totals $1.5 million to be financed over five years.
“This bond would allow Snyder Schools to provide a safe environment that the students and staff alike will enjoy for many years,” said Superintendent Travis Gates. “A bond is the only way we can afford these very needed repairs. If we put this off, we risk having to close buildings during the school year and added expenses for temporary solutions because of a major failure.”
Compared to other local districts, Snyder is falling behind. While other districts are passing bonds supporting their school, Snyder has not passed a bond since 1979. The proposed bond would still be lower than surrounding communities’ tax bills. Many of the communities passing bonds larger than our proposed bond are in a smaller school district than Snyder. Nine area communities currently support a higher bond rate than Snyder’s proposal.
Voters can help Snyder Public Schools succeed in infrastructure as they do in academics and sports by voting in favor of this bond issue on February 14.
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