Westside Public Schools Could See Significant Improvements If Bond Issue Passes
OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska) — Ten projects could be considered for a second phase of the Westside Community School Bond Issuance if approved by voters in May.
3 News Now traveled to Westgate Elementary School on Monday, which is one of three Westside schools that could be completely rebuilt because of the bonds.
“Many schools have passed the first stage, and now I think I am trying to catch up and bring the rest of the schools to the same level of equipment as others,” said Ken Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick is a parent of Westgate and came to learn more about the future goals of building Westside Public Schools.
“We are seeking $121 million for what we are calling the second phase of our three-phase school building process,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Lucas said.
It includes three renovations as well as increased security measures at several other schools.
“This would require a return of 4.9% of those pennies to our tax collection,” Lucas said.
Ryan Zimmermas moved to the Westgate area about a year ago.
“We don’t have children yet, but if we had them in the future, we would definitely like to know what to expect from our school systems,” Zimmermas said.
If the bond issue takes place on May 9, the projects will begin in stages.
“Then we will take a year, from May 2023 to May 2024, and do a lot of design and planning work, and then,” Lucas said.
By the summer of 2024, projects will begin in phases, with Westgate Elementary to be one of the first.
The school was rebuilt earlier, but that was after the 1975 tornado, and the school district says it was done quickly.
“Basically, it was the epicenter and Westgate was hastily reassembled over the next few months, and in fact that academic year began here on campus. And there are a lot of shortcomings that we are trying to address in the second phase,” Lucas said. .
Kirkpatrick says Westgate could use an upgrade.
“In particular, there are some problems with Westgate: you have to go through one class to get into another class, which greatly interferes with the children who study in this class,” he said.
The county showed 3 News Now reporter Molly Hudson things like a canteen, gym, and auditorium all in one place.
“It was normal for the 50s, 60s and 70s, but you know times have changed and the way teaching and learning has changed,” Kirkpatrick said.
All registered voters residing in District 66 must receive Douglas County Election Commission ballots by mail between April 17 and 28.
Meetings and excursions will be held until May 3 at different schools and at different times.
Westside Public Schools