Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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Bond update: Projects underway; Fall 2019 completion targeted


From Dr. Rob Winter

GIPS superintendent

On Tuesday, Sept. 9, the votes were counted and Grand Island passed a school bond issue including crucial projects at seven schools.

On Wednesday, Sept. 10, work began on the first project.

Grand Island Public Schools plans to keep the community informed on the progress through the duration of all seven projects. We will provide updates via our website and work with the local media to offer frequent progress reports.

The seven projects - expanding Engleman Elementary, expanding and renovating Shoemaker Elementary, building a new Starr Elementary at a new location, building new Stolley Park and Jefferson elementaries at their current locations, expanding and renovating Barr Middle School and renovating the 100-wing at Grand Island Senior High - will take about five years to complete.

Here's a look at what's been done so far:

Financial

The district sold about 70 percent of the needed bonds at 4 percent in December. In December 2016, the remaining bonds will be sold. IRS rules regulate the majority of funds raised from bonds must be used within three years after sold; hence the split sale.

Actual work

Work began at Engleman shortly after the vote totals were announced. Plans were finalized, ground has been moved, footings poured and installation of new concrete walls started. The plan is to have all walls up and the roof on the new addition by the end of the school year.

At Shoemaker, plans have been finalized, ground broken and a building pad poured for the addition on the north side of the building. Footings will be poured soon. By the end of the school year the plan is to have walls and roof on this section and have the footings and walls started on the south addition. You may notice in the next few months modular buildings in place at Shoemaker. Those will be needed only during the construction process and will be removed upon completion. This bond issue did not call for the purchase of any new modular buildings to be permanent fixtures at any school.

Design work on site plans and floor plans are underway for both the Starr and Barr projects.

Schedule

As mentioned, the goal is to have all seven projects completed within five years. Additional information on all seven project timelines is on the district website, but here is a quick look at each project's tentative schedule:

  • Engleman: Already started; in use Fall 2015
  • Shoemaker: Already started; in use Fall 2016
  • Barr: Planning started; construction to start Summer 2015; all work complete Summer 2017
  • Starr: Planning started; construction to start Summer 2015; in use Fall 2017
  • Senior High: Planning to start Summer 2015; construction to start Summer 2016; in use Fall 2017
  • Stolley Park: Planning to start Spring 2016; construction to start Fall 2017; in use Fall 2019
  • Jefferson: Planning to start Spring 2016; construction to start Summer 2017; in use Fall 2019

This is a tentative schedule. Obviously it depends on a number of factors, including weather, but the district believes it is a realistic expectation to have all seven projects finished by the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

Updates

Today the district is holding a press conference to update the media on the construction progress, the timelines and project details. GIPS will continue to keep the community up to date via the media and other channels throughout the entire process.

One last thing: Thank you. We at Grand Island Public Schools are grateful to this community for your faith in us to do what is best for our community's children. This project would not have been possible without your support. The district looks forward to giving students and staff at these seven schools the safe, quality learning environment you voted for last fall.

Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127
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