Parents of students concerned as the increasing number of residents in Bennington might soon result with lack of classrooms in schools

BENNINGTON, Nebraska — Bennington Public Schools are rapidly expanding, and the system will soon be at capacity.

According to projections, Bennington High School would be overcrowded by 2024, prompting the district to propose the construction of a new facility.

The board has recommended a $149 million bond for the construction of new schools and athletic facilities, but not everyone in the community is enthusiastic about the possibility of a new school.

“With time running out to pass this bond issue shouldn’t we just get this building built and then worry about what we put inside it later? The answer is a clear no,” said Christa Monti, a testifier at Monday’s meeting.

On Monday, the Bennington Public School board heard concerns from community members over their proposed bond at a board meeting.

Some believed that the process was proceeding too quickly and lacked sufficient public input.

However, the group’s greatest worry was whether or not sporting facilities were given priority over academic possibilities.

“In a time of inflation, and signs of a recession, can we as a taxpayer afford the must-haves belong the classroom? Should the community be responsible for a $9 million-plus pool? $3 million in tennis courts? $5 million for an investment in stadium seating,” said another testifier.

Career and Technical Education was the top priority for many of the testifiers.

In the original proposal, CTE classrooms were near the bottom of the board’s list of items to include in the school. However, after hearing the crowd’s worries, the board’s priorities swiftly shifted.

“I’m happy to see the board realizes the importance of that but I think we also want to make sure it’s something we move on quickly. However, it also needs to be addressed careful as far as what is built into that program,” said Christa Monti.

Where the school could be located is a question that remains unsolved.

Officials claim they are close to finding a location for the new school, despite the board’s withdrawal from a previous commitment to purchase land for the school.

“The board and the administration is in negotiations for a new piece of property that we hope to announce shortly,” said BPS Superintendent Dr. Terry Haack.

The board will evaluate public feedback and intends to finalize a plan by the following Monday. September 1st is the cutoff date for including the proposed bond in the upcoming election.

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