Voters in the Lennox School District took to the polls on Tuesday, May 9 to vote on a $17 million school bond. With 74 percent voter approval, the bond election passed.
“I am thrilled for our students, staff, and greater community,” said Superintendent, Dr. Chad Conaway in a statement released after the passing. “I believe this project will enhance our relevance in the region, in addition to making allowances for continued growth. Lastly, I want to express gratitude to the community for your ongoing support of Lennox School District.”
The bond project will add an auxiliary gym, a larger weight room, two additional varsity locker rooms, a new designated activities lobby, a remodeled kitchen and cafeteria, and a new performing arts center.
The approved bond, which will be structured on a 25-year repayment schedule, will see a tax levy of $1.01 per $1,000.
When a study was conducted by the District in 2022, it was noted that shared spaces were being strained with the growing student population, which has grown in the junior high and high school to 546 students, a rise of 119 students from the 2015-2016 school year.
The approved building project will address these concerns.
The kitchen remodel will create two lines of service, speeding up the amount of time kids are in line waiting for lunch. Currently six lunches operate between the hours of 10:40 a.m. and 1 p.m. Two lines will create flexibility in the schedule and allow for quicker serving times.
The addition of an auxiliary gym will allow the District to have more flexibility in the current schedule for physical education classes between high school and junior high classes.
In adding the auxiliary gym, the district will be able to run multiple games at home, which would also increase the need for additional locker rooms, something this plan also includes.
The performing arts center will have between 800 and 900 seats. This addition will alleviate the need for the shared space of lunchroom and performing arts, currently called the cafetorium. This addition will not only open up the current cafetorium for additional lunchroom tables, it will also give a dedicated space for band, choir, plays and other concerts, something that is lacking in the current configuration.
The larger weight room proposal will create more efficiency in moving students through their workouts, allowing for more comprehensive training programs.
Now that the bond election has passed, Architecture Incorporated will immediately begin work on engineered drawings and bid documents that should be finished in October 2023. The District anticipates receiving bids back and awarding the project on or around December of 2023 with construction of the project tentatively starting in April of 2024 with a completion date in the summer of 2025.
Conaway will get the community updated as the high school project progresses.