Friday, Feb. 15.
That’s the next date of significance for the Sidney Community School District at it prepares for a potential bond vote for school improvements.
Provided that enough signatures of voters are obtained by that date, a vote for a bond issue would be ordered on April 2.
The process leading to the gathering of signatures began with extensive input from the community.
Six community meetings resulted in conversation and direction on the issue.
Eventually, the community settled on a project not to exceed $10 million to address a list of priorities identified from the conversations.
The board received a recommendation from the Facilities Committee, comprised of Randi Gregory, Martha Brown, Ken Brown and Travis Hensley, to seek petition of signatures and call an election to issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $10 million.
The effort requires signatures from 25 percent of the persons who voted in the last local election.
Sidney Superintendent Tim Hood estimated that 75 signatures would be required. And 20 had been obtained at the sixth and final community input meeting last month.
If signatures are obtained and a vote of the people results in passage of a measure to take out bonds for the project, the Sidney school will be able to address needs that it has had for some time. Hood said a ground breaking could occur this summer.
At the current time, the Sidney school busses students to another location for automotive, welding and agriculture programs as well as those students who use the old gymnasium in town.
The new build at Sidney would address that arrangement by adding a CTE building for career technical education and also by adding a gymatorium at the high school.
The gymatorium space could be used for athletic practice and some games and provide a multi-purpose space for all types of activities.
It should be noted that the gymatorium would not take the place of the main gym at the school.
Project areas addressed by the bond plan include adding classroom space as well.
Hood said the school has been forced to turn away elementary kids due to a lack of space.
Also addressed will be the issues at the football field.
Project areas at that location include improvements to the football field, the addition of bleachers and a press box and concession and restroom areas as well as a new all weather track.
Early in the discussions, the idea of moving the football field from its current location in town to the site of the high school was raised.
The reason that plan didn’t make it to the final project priority list came down to the community input process as patrons indicated areas of importance.
Education needs ended up taking priority over the football field project and, as such it was decided to keep the football field where it is at currently.
Other projects for the bond include but do not conclude with the addition of a revamped secure entrance at the high school building.
Hood said he wanted to express his appreciation to all of the community members who helped direct the Sidney project.
At the first of the community input meetings, Hood estimated the attendance to be nearly 75. Attendance continued to be in the 40s and 50s for each of the subsequent meetings with as many as 10 being new faces at each session.
Signature deadline set for Sidney CSD bond vote in April
Friday, Feb. 15.