Today, both a $151 million bond resolution and the Lincoln Public Schools 10 year facilities plan are before the Board of Education on first reading. The Lincoln Independent Business Association believes that the bond issue vote should be held in conjunction with the statewide election and that LPS should look for alternatives before spending the proposed $6.4 million to remodel the Bryan Facility.
Lincoln Public Schools and the taxpaying citizens of Lincoln will be best served if the proposed bond issue is placed on the same ballot as the statewide elections. Lincoln’s public schools are a public asset that greatly shapes the quality of our community for years to come. It is appropriate that an issue of such far-reaching concern be reserved for statewide elections which generally see the highest levels of community participation.
LIBA is aware of cost estimates, which seem to indicate savings for LPS if the bond vote is held in February instead of waiting until May. It is LIBA’s opinion that these are fluid cost estimates and that for most if not all proposed projects LPS can contract to begin projects contingent on passage of the bond issue, reducing any time related cost and ensuring the shortest timeline to completion. In the end, the strength of Lincoln’s schools depends on the strength of support in the community, and it is therefore essential to secure maximum community participation on any proposed bond resolution.
Though the proposed behavior intervention program at Bryan School may have great merit, LIBA requests LPS test the program before spending $6.4 million to remodel the Bryan building. LPS opened the Donald D. Sherill building to house the behavioral skills program less than six months ago. Before investing millions more in taxpayer dollars, LIBA suggests that LPS identify current facilities capable of temporarily housing the new behavioral intervention program. In this way, before spending public monies LPS can test the program to make sure it is right for LPS and for student needs.
Finally LIBA would like to thank the elected officials, staff, and community members that have generously donated their time to create the 10 year facilities plan.