EDITOR’S NOTE: A preview of Triad’s proposed bond issue and levy was published earlier this year. This story is being reprinted as a courtesy to our readers.
NORTH LEWISBURG – The Triad Board of Education plans to build an athletic facility that would include an eight-lane track, updated football field, upgrades to the current field house and construction of a new field house. To accomplish this, voters will be asked on Nov. 5 to approve a 1.75-mill bond issue for new athletic projects and a 0.25-mill permanent improvement continuous levy for safety projects.
Triad Superintendent Vickie Hoffman said both funds are on one ballot issue in November and, if approved, would start being collected in January 2023, after the current levy expires. Upon passage of this levy the district has committed to eliminate the Pay to Participate fees of $60 per student per season currently charged to families with athletes in the Triad school district. The 1.75-mill bond issue would be for a term of 20-30 years, depending on the final project cost.
“When the bond was passed for this building (the high school) it was 2 mills,” she said. “That has been our number one expectation, that we will not go above that. People are already paying 2 mills. We wanted to stay at the 2 mills and do everything we wanted. The new facility is one thing. Safety is another thing, and then we also wanted to make sure we were budgeting to – in seven years when the track needs resurfacing – we need to have a plan for that. We don’t want it to look like it looks now, so that was very important that we had a plan for that.”
In 2002 voters passed a 2-mill bond issue for 20 years to build the high school and renovate the current elementary and middle school. The tax collections for that bond issue will expire in December 2022. The board now intends to ask the voters to continue those 2 mills beyond 2020.
Athletic projects include new field/track lighting, a sound system, new ADA-compliant bleachers and a scoreboard. All new athletic projects will be in the same location as the current high school football field. Safety projects could include security entrances, safety kits and voice alerting systems in each building.
“We did some preliminary studies about where a track and football field could be located on property the district owns, and it clearly came back to the current location is where those within the community groups and those in the community and the board felt we should be focusing our attention,” said project architect Chris Widener, with the WDC Group. “The first and primary part of the project from an athletic standpoint is the track. Obviously there is something out there that surrounds the football field, but I don’t think many people in the K-12 world would call it a track. It’s maybe a path… so we’re embarking on looking at how to replace that and make it permanent.”
Hoffman said the track will be available for the community. The new field house would have a large community room able to accommodate 100-150 people or could be converted to two smaller rooms. This facility is be available for Triad residents to use when not being used for district events.
She also said she wants all buildings to be locked down and secured, meaning there would be two doors to go through before giving anyone access to the schools. Windows would be outfitted with covers that render the glass bulletproof. Not all of the windows at the high school are currently designed for egress. Another part of the plan would create at least two exits for every room.
Hoffman said she wants to do more training with her staff, which would include firing a gun inside the school so that teachers can understand what it actually sounds like. She also wants to train every student how to run, throw things and escape though windows if it becomes necessary.
For more information, contact the superintendent at email@example.com or 937-826-4961, ext. 4104.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304