$21.5 Million Bond Issue for Hastings Public Schools


On May 13th residents in Hastings will vote on a $21.5 million school bond issue. If the bond passes it will help improve five elementary schools in the district.

Officials say currently the exteriors of some of the buildings are fine, but the infrastructure needs serious improvement. And some of the buildings aren't up to code, but they are excused after being grandfathered in.

Superintendent Craig Kautz says he's not sure if taxes would go up if the bond passes.

"Maybe nothing more than three cents above what they're paying now. Our work over the time between now and election will be figuring out financial-wise, hopefully keeps taxes as they are now," said Kautz.

One of the schools that would benefit from the bond is Longfellow Elementary. The school was built in 1927 and is outdated for today's standards. Principal Cathy Cafferty believes students learning would improve if the bond passes.

"Without a good education and facilities you need to provide that education for good student learning to meet the needs of kids. Kids come to us looking very different than they did 100 years ago," said Cafferty.

Another concern is safety as the Longfellow main office is in the center of the building; currently administration can't see who is coming in and out of the building.

Additionally, three of the elementary schools in the district don't have air conditioning.

"While we don't have hot weather for great lengths of time, believe me the hot weather in old buildings like that dramatically affects students' ability to learn," said Kautz.