Possibly one of the biggest challenges the Elsberry R-II School District faces each year, is the number of day’s students miss due to heat. In fact, Elsberry is the only school left in Lincoln County that does not have air conditioning throughout the entire school.
Well many are hoping this year will bring change to this challenge. Superintendent Tim Reller, Ed.D, is doing what he can to push Prop 2, a $4.5 million No Tax Increase General Obligation Bond Issue.
“I think the most important thing people need to know is this will not increase or decrease their tax’s if they vote yes or know,” explained Dr. Reller. “The easiest way to explain how this works is, it’s kind of like taking out a second mortgage. We are not adding to our debt, we are just extending the pay off date, which is something all schools do. So again, in no way will this issue, increase or decrease people’s taxes.”
Although this was attempted one time before, in 2009, Dr. Reller said he believes it will have a much different turn out. A few of the projects the District is looking at is an HVAC upgrade, where the existing hot water boiler system would be replaced by a system that would provide air conditioning, heating and fresh air to the classrooms. Another project would be lighting and ceiling upgrades. Currently the existing lights and suspended ceilings in the elementary, middle and old high school would be replaced with new energy efficient lighting and will provided a better learning environment for the students. Also, Dr. Reller said the district is planning to replace the single pane windows throughout the school district with more efficient windows. However, if funding allows the district could possibly seek other projects throughout the school.
“We have had six ‘Hot Day’s’ each of the last three-years,” said Dr. Reller. “Now there are also other day’s where it’s just extremely warm and very uncomfortable for our students, which in turn makes the day’s not very productive. By passing this bond issue, we can make the much-needed improvements without increasing taxes.”
Dr. Reller went on to say how having these high temp days and having to close down early because of it is no the best way to start off the school year. At the end of the day both Dr. Reller and the committee put together to help push these projects and the bond issue feel as tough the best way to help students be productive and to ensure students are getting the most they can out of school, is by voting yes to Prop 2.