Thank you for your patience as we get through the winter weather season.
Our sports seasons were very successful and we thank our athletes, coaches, and families for their time and efforts. Congratulations to the wrestlers with six making it to the state tournament, all being underclassmen. What a bright future. To the boys basketball on a season full of injuries the boys played with heart, and to the Girls basketball for going 23-1, losing at sub-state. What an accomplishment. Thank you to the pep band and cheerleaders as well for supporting our teams. State DECA is happening and we are excited for those students competing. In a few weeks we begin to focus on Spring with track, golf, and the fourth quarter for school.
The beginning of a new growing season for our gardeners and farmers, will mark a new chapter in our facilities. We are very excited to share more with the community about our upcoming facilities improvement projects. These projects are not new but rather scaled back from the bond issue votes of 2016 and 2017. The Osage Community Schools are debt free and these needed facility improvements will all be paid for by the SAVE fund cash and borrowing against it and borrowing against PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) funds. We are NOT increasing your property taxes for this project.
In September 2016 and April 2017 bond issues failed to reach a super majority of 60 percent approval. In the last vote, 53 percent of voters approved of the project and bond. The bond money was only going to fund a portion of the projects. When these failed, the school was able to look at the scope of the project and things were scaled down and we cut many pieces out. The projects will be done, starting with the oldest buildings (high school and middle school) and with projects that are needed in district for the next 50 years. It will be done in three phases with any new construction beginning this spring, pending bids being opened on Friday, March 16 at 2 p.m. The Osage Board would take action on this on Monday, March 19 at the school board meeting.
The project includes many efficiency and safety features including replacing the original boilers for the middle school and high school, new windows for the middle school, compliance with IDEA (Iowa Disabilities Education Act) and fire codes. We are totally remodeling science classrooms, adding a tornado safe room that will also function as new band and choir rooms, going from two kitchens and cafeterias to one new space, converting the current high school office and superintendent office to classroom space and adding a secure entry and offices to the front of the building. The art classrooms will be moved and remodeled, restrooms will be added and remodeled, and another gymnasium will be added. These projects will improve the already great programs we have while bringing efficiency, safety, and helping us to become a leading 21st Century school.
Again, we are NOT increasing your property taxes for this project. We have the plans and renderings available for you to see at the superintendent’s office as well as a video on school website and Facebook page to walk you through the spaces renovated and additions.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 641-732-5381.