With a unanimous vote, the USD 480 board of education called for a bond election to pay for construction of Liberal's schools. The vote was Monday night during the board of education meeting. The board's decision comes after six months or more of work by the Vision Team to hear from the public and to look at schools and see which direction to go to address overcrowding.
If approved, the district will redesign Liberal's educational infrastructure. There would be five elementaries which would be kindergarten through fifth grade. There would be three new elementary schools constructed. There would be two new middle schools for 6th-8th grades. There would be improvements and expansion of the high school using the current West Middle School building. Also due to concerns from the public regarding security and safety, there would be a focus on storm shelters and building security at the schools.
The bond election will be placed before the public April 8 and will be a bond of around 127 million dollars. The state pays for about half to retire the bonds. About 25 percent would come from the half cent sales tax if voters approve the sales tax to be used for the bond. The rest would be paid off through property taxes.
The average age of Liberal's school buildings is 55 years old.