usd 210 bond

 K.I.D.S. - Keep Improving District Schools

The bond story

The Hugoton School District is responsible for providing a safe and functional environment for educating our children. The USD 210 Board of Education historically authorizes proactive steps to tackle the most immediate concerns so we can keep our buildings functional and safe. However, because of budget and time limitations, there are needs for our buildings that cannot be met with current resources. 

In 2016, the aging HVAC system at the elementary school was replaced, ensuring a comfortable learning environment for the students. Recognizing the importance of health and wellness, the district prioritized the replacement of the track and football fields, providing a safe environment for physical education, exercise, activities, and community gatherings. Sprinkler systems were diligently repaired or replaced, and a number of roofs underwent restoration, preventing further damage to the buildings. 

Despite these efforts, it became evident that some of the major facility needs required more significant financial investment than the district could cover through annual budgets alone. Over the course of the next six years, USD 210 embarked on a path of responsible financial management. The district made strategic decisions to reduce the district tax burden by 16.709 mills while still ensuring financial security for employees and adding valuable academic programs. The district balanced fiscal responsibility with the commitment to providing quality education to its students.

As the prior bond approached its final payment and the district's tax footprint continued to shrink, the USD 210 Board of Education initiated preliminary discussions on the facility challenges. However, these conversations were soon overshadowed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which demanded the district's immediate attention to ensure the continuity of education. In the face of adversity, USD 210 persevered and prioritized the well-being of its students and staff. As the district emerged from the pandemic, the Board of Education revived the facility conversations. With the final payment for the existing debt looming, it was crucial to address the pressing facility needs and chart a sustainable future for the district.

The Board of Education recognized that a bond issue was necessary to tackle the remaining facility challenges effectively. By engaging in open discussions and thoughtful planning, they sought to gain community support and present a comprehensive plan to address the needs while minimizing the financial impact on taxpayers. This information was compiled and prioritized, and in November of 2022, SPT Architecture partnered with USD 210 to develop plans and options for addressing the prioritized needs. In March of 2023, Simpson Construction partnered with the district to provide additional planning and insights into the timeline and ability to address facility and infrastructure challenges. 

Several public meetings are planned to present the Board’s proposal and answer questions. A bond election to authorize the issuance of bonds to fund the project is scheduled for August 29th, 2023. Upon successful passage of a bond referendum, construction would begin in the spring of 2024 and be completed for the 2025-26 school year.

In the journey of USD 210, the past eight years have been a testament to their commitment to responsible stewardship of resources and an unwavering dedication to the education of their students. Now, as the district embraces the future, they stand ready to embark on a new chapter, where the community's support will be instrumental in shaping the facilities that will foster the growth and success of generations to come. 

bond election details

The bond proposal on the August 29th ballot consists of the following project scope:



Safe & Efficient Infrastructure

The Challenge:

The HVAC in the High School is 42 years old and requires regular maintenance. As our facilities grow older, the number of dollars needed for general maintenance and repairs grows as well. High School ceiling tiles are constantly being replaced due to water leaks, which is a large safety concern for our students and staff.

The High Schools classrooms and gymnasium currently have no temperature control. It is unsafe for our students and staff to learn and participate in activities in spaces without air quality.

The Opportunity:

Students and families should have an expectation to learn in a safe environment while at school. With the replacement of the original boiler and HVAC, there would be a decrease in maintenance costs and an increase in air quality and energy efficiency. With the passage of this bond, upgrades will be made to the High School's HVAC system.


Improved Safety & Security

The Challenge:

The need for security in schools has increased exponentially in recent years. While we enjoy the comfort of our small-town living, we also recognize that school size is not necessarily a determinant of safety. Additionally, the Elementary School in Hugoton USD 210 does not have a storm shelter to accommodate all students if a tornado or significant weather event were to occur.

The current challenge is that teachers have to lock their classroom doors by entering the hall and locking the door handle with their key. This is not a quick or efficient way to provide safety in the classroom.

Most importantly, the Industrial Arts Building being disconnected from the rest of the High School is a major safety concern for our students and staff. Doors are often left open during the school day, and students must exit the building multiple times to go from class to class.

The Opportunity:

The proposed bond would allow for the construction of new secure entrances at the High School and Elementary School. Having secure entry points to our schools would provide additional protection to students and staff from potential external threats, including violence, intruders, and exposure to weapons. Secure entrances reduce opportunities for crime and can allow for more thorough screening of people entering USD 210 facilities. Improving the individual classroom door locks from only being accessed on the exterior of the door would be addressed as well to provide added safety and security measures for each classroom.

This bond will also connect the Industrial Arts Building to the rest of the High School, which is a major piece in increasing the safety and security of our facilities for our students. Additionally, the construction of a storm shelter was considered a very high priority since students and staff currently have to walk outside to another facility to get to a storm shelter. The proposed school bond will fund a new storm shelter at the Elementary School that will also serve as a band room. We owe our students and families the expectation of safety when they enter Hugoton Schools, including storm safety.


Improved Learning Environments & Opportunities

The Challenge:

Hugoton students deserve 21st-century learning environments that will help prepare them for the future. Allowing each student to learn, grow, and experiment with different technologies and trades will help them build the skills they need to succeed.

The Opportunity:

In addition to classroom renovations throughout the Elementary and High School, this bond will include the transformation of existing spaces into open-concept Enhanced Learning Spaces that promote hands-on learning. These spaces will increase collaboration, research, and creativity across all grades, offering more experience-based learning.


Safe & Improved Student Activity Center

The Challenge:

Hugoton's competition gymnasium currently is not handicap accessible. It also does not have sufficient air conditioning or enough seating to hold multi-team sports tournaments, community events, or graduation ceremonies. Additionally, the lack of gym space forces the families of middle school students to get their kids to basketball practice early in the morning during the winter, which is a large safety concern. 

The Opportunity:

The proposed Student Activity Center would serve as a classroom, community health & wellness center, physical activity space, competition gymnasium for multiple sports, and event space. A larger activity space would allow our district to host regional sports events, graduation ceremonies, and other community events, economically benefiting the Hugoton community as a whole. 

Most importantly, the new proposed gymnasium will also connect the existing high school to the industrial arts building. This is a huge safety and security improvement as it will not require students or staff to exit the building during the day. This new Student Activity Center will also be handicap accessible, where the current gymnasium is not.

This additional activity space would also address the safety concern of early morning practices, as they would no longer be required. Additionally, the new Student Activity Center would provide a climate-controlled environment that is crucial for a safe and quality activity space for students, families, and guests. 

The upper level of the proposed Student Activity Center will have a walking track that provides a safe indoor exercise area that is open to the community with pre-approved use. Our Hugoton band and student sections would also have dedicated seating at both ends of the Student Activity Center to keep students safe from any collisions that may occur during a sporting event. 


Safe and Efficient Transportation & Maintenance Facility

The Challenge:

USD 210 transportation department, grounds maintenance, facility maintenance, and warehouse are currently each housed in separate facilities. The existing transportation building is in great need of many improvements. It does not fit most of the district's buses inside and does not adequately allow for safe and efficient vehicle and bus maintenance. Being able to properly train our staff, efficiently upkeep our fleet and grounds, and safely maintain our facilities is crucial to our district operations' success.

The Opportunity:

Efficiency is the cornerstone of any successful operation, and it begins with the consolidation of key facilities. By bringing together transportation, grounds maintenance, maintenance, and warehousing under one roof, organizations can streamline their processes, reduce redundancies, and enhance overall productivity. 

Consolidating these operations also offers substantial cost-saving opportunities. Maintaining multiple buildings incurs higher expenses for utilities, maintenance, and security. By integrating transportation, grounds maintenance, maintenance, and warehousing, organizations can significantly reduce these costs. Consolidating facilities enables optimized resource allocation, shared infrastructure, and streamlined processes, resulting in substantial financial savings over time. 


Fiscal Responsibility

The Challenge:

A yes vote to this school bond will increase the property tax on a $100,000 house by

$7.67 per month.

USD 210 is committed to financial responsibility and ensuring the best use of taxpayer funds. The district’s track record speaks for itself, as it has consistently implemented strategies to save money and decrease the burden on local taxpayers.

In the past, when faced with a bond issue, the district took proactive measures to refinance the loan not once but twice. By doing so, it successfully reduced the interest payments, ultimately saving taxpayers a significant amount of money. USD 210 understands the importance of managing finances prudently and maximizing the value of each dollar invested in its students and staff.

Last year, USD 210 capitalized on the opportunity to leverage 48% state aid and made an additional payment of $1 Million towards the current debt. This proactive approach allowed the district to further reduce interest costs and save even more money for local taxpayers. Hugoton Public Schools firmly believe in taking advantage of opportunities that arise to improve its financial position and prioritize the welfare of the community.

The Opportunity:

Hugoton School District's Patrons can invest in our aging buildings with a relatively minimal tax increase. This bond will help our district us existing space more efficiently, increase safety & security, and improve learning environments for our kids.

Over the past six years, USD 210 has diligently worked to decrease district taxes by an impressive 16.709 mills. Despite the knowledge of future major facility work, the district has been committed to easing the tax burden on the community. This dedication to fiscal responsibility demonstrates a long-term vision and commitment to maintaining affordability for residents.

The final payment for the prior bond is scheduled for September 2024. By passing a bond now, the district can ensure less volatility with taxes, as the increase would be relatively small. On the other hand, waiting would result in an initial drop in the mill levy, followed by a larger tax increase to address pressing facility needs.

USD 210 believes that by taking action now and approving the bond, it can effectively address facility needs while working to maintain stability and predictability in tax rates. The district remains committed to making sound financial decisions that prioritize the community's best interests and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars.