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Grand Island Northwest begins process that could put middle school bond issue on ballot

Grand Island Northwest begins process that could put middle school bond issue on ballot (NTV News)

Grand Island Northwest administrators look to the future, as the district gives a bond issue another look, a decade after voters rejected a middle school.

As kids head to their next class at Cedar Hollow School, they won't be taking a shop class or cooking in the kitchen.

Superintendent Matt Fisher said, “Our middle school students are really very limited in terms of what they get to choose to explore.”

In addition to Grand Island Northwest High School, the district has four elementary schools. Three of those go up to the 8th grade, and one up to fifth grade.

The superintendent says that's a challenge when it comes to the curriculum.

Fisher said, “If you provide something in one location obviously you have to provide that for those students in the other locations as well, and it's just not economically feasible to do that.”

District leaders think a middle school structure would be better. That could be a brand new school, renovating, or shrinking the high school.

This week, the school board voted to hire a finance company to guide them. First National Capital Markets will help the district sort out the options.

Fisher said, “If this is what we did and this is how much it cost, here's what our ultimate cost would be and here's maybe best way to have a successful bond campaign take place.”

Fisher says they could decide not to pursue a bond at this time, or they could aim for the November ballot.

He says it's about broadening experiences for kids.

“Ag classes, industrial technology classes, family and consumer science - the kinds of things that most schools are going to create opportunities for middle school students to explore, we just haven't been able to do that,” he said.

The district has been talking about restructuring for a few years. On January 24, they’re hosting workshops, and Fisher said the middle school vision will be part of the discussion.

Fisher said he’s also talked with leaders at Adams Central, where they are building a new school after a few failed bond issues.

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