April 7 is approaching, and with it comes two bond initiatives on the ballot for Empire Public Schools.

The first bond, set to be a transportation bond, will be for $460,000 if passed. The second bond, a construction bond, will be for $5,660,000 if passed.

The first, if approved, with purchase three new route buses, a new activity bus and pay for the newest route bus which was purchased previously in the year.

Empire Public Schools Superintendent Vicki Davison said two new route buses and a small bus were purchased four years ago thanks to the Empire community’s generosity, but one of the old route buses broke down during the first week of this school year. Its condition is beyond repair.

Older route buses range between 17 and 20 years old, according to Davison, and although they are still running, they aren’t in the best condition. Davison said the repairs for these older buses are draining the budget and the transportation bond could put an end to it.

The second bond, the construction bond, will go to improving the school’s facilities and purchasing other necessary items for students.

Funds from this bond will cover:

  •  Purchasing new band uniforms
  •  New floor covering throughout the school
  •  Remodeling four bathrooms, two in the elementary and two in the junior high
  •  Building a new ticket booth, concession stand, bathrooms and dressing rooms for the athletic fields
  •  Building covered bleachers for baseball and softball
  •  Building a new press box on the west side of the field
  •  Painting the exterior of all the school buildings
  •  Replacing fences on school property
  •  Renovating and repairing the old gymnasium
  •  Repairing the south wall of the new gym and adding new locker rooms
  •  Replacing the floor in the new gym
  •  Repairing the superintendent’s office
  •  Purchasing and installing new steel sidewalk canopies.

The combined total would add up to $6,120,000.

Davison encourages the public to cast their vote on April 7, regardless of their decision. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The next Empire Board of Education meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday.

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