A survey showed USD 489 patrons support bond to enhance facilities. The board plans to move issue forward slowly.

Brianna Childers
Hays Daily News
The Hays Unified School District 489 board discussed during its April 12 work session the possibility of a bond issue. A recent survey showed strong support among district patrons, though the board plans to move the issue forward slowly.

USD 489's community is "fond of the district" and would support a bond issue to address long-term facility needs based on a survey 300 randomly selected patrons recently participated in. 

Survey results were brought to the school board April 12 by Rick Nobles, president of ExcellenceK12, a Missouri-based company that assists school districts and boards in obtaining patrons' perceptions. 

Nobles said results showed 68% of respondents would "strongly support" or "support" a general bond issue if it were to take place now. Only 19% of patrons said they would "oppose" or "strongly oppose" the issue. 

"Sixty-eight percent is a really good number for you at this stage," Nobles said. "I was very pleased with that number for you."

Despite positive results and a show of support for a bond issue, the school board doesn't plan to quickly move the issue forward. 

"We need to have a good discussion of whether we want to pursue a bond, of course, and part of that discussion is do we do it this fall, do we do it next spring?" said board president Mike Walker. 

Walker said criticism by the community on how fast the district has moved on past issues has caused the board to reiterate that it plans to move slow on considering a new bond issue. 

"These decisions aren't going to be made right away, but at the same time, I think we can progress through them," superintendent Ron Wilson said. "I think what you're seeing with the survey data tells us that — I'll say it again — people think very highly of what we're doing." 

If the board is interested, Wilson said, he would like to bring architectural firm DLR to the April 26 board meeting to present options that can be used moving forward.