$245 million bond proposed for new Olathe schools

OLATHE, Kan. - The classrooms in the Olathe School District have never been more crowded, and school board members want voters to approve a $245 million bond to build a fifth high school and 36th elementary school. The bond would not increase any taxes.

"We've gained over 700 kids this year, over 2,500 over the last five years," Superintendent Dr. Marlin Berry explained. "We have to have an appropriate place to put these kids."

Berry said the tax rate would remain the same because the district would move funds from projects that are being paid off to the new proposed projects.

Which is why they've proposed a $245 million bond that would help build the extra schools -- as well as improve security and technology -- without requiring any tax increase.

"We can do this at our current tax levels. It means we would continue the tax that we have," Berry said. "There would be no new increase in taxes for the community members here in Olathe."

Nick Hunt has four kids in the district and said his kids would benefit from the changes for a long time.

"My kids have several years left in this school district," Hunt said. "So they'll be able to take advantage of these improvements for years and years to come."

If voters vote against the bond, property taxes could go down in the coming years.

The mail in ballot will start at the end of May.

The three remaining meetings will be held at the following days at 7 p.m.:

  •     Tuesday, April 23, Olathe East High School
  •     Monday, April 29, Olathe Northwest High School
  •     Tuesday, April 30, Olathe South High School
     
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