By Clara Osten,
Following action taken during a special Board of Education meeting last week, voters in the Wakefield Community School District will be voting on a $46.8 million bond issue.
The special election has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 14. This is to be a mail-in only election with all ballots needing to be returned by mail or in person to the Wayne County Election Commissioner's office by 5 p.m. that day.
According to Wakefield Schools Superintendent Matt Farup, "we are responding to the Strategic Plan. We have been meeting with stakeholders for some time. All of the stakeholders said facilities were a priority."
In the fall of 2021, the Wakefield Community School Board created a 5-year Strategic Plan. That plan was created with input from students, staff, administration, parents, and community members. The number one priority of all groups was to address the district's facility needs. The Strategic Plan prioritized the creation of a Master Plan for facilities that would address current and future needs.
"We don't just want this, we need this addition. We are beyond capacity and there are things that should have been addressed in the past that haven't been," Farup said.
Voters in the Wakefield district will be able to go to the school's website to find a link to a calculator that will allow individual patrons to determine the actual impact of the passage of the bond. This site will be live starting Friday, Sept. 22.
"We are holding a $46.8 million bond to fund this project, which equates to a $0.54 tax levy, which we know will need significant community support to pass. We are confident it will be a wise investment in our community's future. The school we build today will be the one our students attend for years to come," Farup said.
Earlier this year the Board of Education approved the hiring of Hausmann Construction to provide construction management services and JEO Consulting to provide a survey of the property. The architect for the project is CMBA from Sioux City, Iowa.
If voters approve the bond, construction could begin as early as the summer of 2024. It is anticipated that the project would be complete in the fall of 2026.
"We want to keep our kids on campus as much as possible and keep doing business," Farup said.
Open community meetings to provide additional information will be held Tuesday, Sept. 26, Tuesday, Oct. 10, Tuesday, Oct. 17 and Thursday, Nov. 2.