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The Wildcat

The student news site of Warsaw High School

The Wildcat

The student news site of Warsaw High School

The Wildcat

Prop KIDS to provide needed upgrades


 Prop KIDS is an $18 million bond issue that brings many opportunities for school improvements without increasing taxes. Some of the biggest changes students could see in the high school would be the addition of more bathrooms, improvements to the stage and music classrooms, a new art classroom and the addition of a building for an alternative school.

   The April 2024 bond is similar to a loan that a school district can take. It is based on the local assessed valuation or property values in the school district.

   With all the projects on the list, school officials have identified priorities. 

   “The top priority is definitely the restroom remodel in the elementary school. Some of those restrooms have not been remodeled in a very long time. The next two priorities are 5th grade wing and HS Addition. The 5th grade wing gives us the opportunity to move PreK classes to North School, which also will cut down on travel time for our youngest students. The 5th grade wing will also be a storm shelter for the HS/JBMS campus. The HS Addition gives us much needed additional restrooms in the high school, gives us space for an alternative program, and also secures the back part of our building,” Superintendent Scott Gemes said. 

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   One of the biggest changes will be bringing fifth grade to the JBMS/WHS campus. This addition will include a storm shelter to house everyone on campus in case of a storm.

   “The 5th grade wing will create benefits in every district building. Specifically to South, the available room created will be used to reconfigure classroom space, intervention areas, and be able to provide services to students,” South elementary principal Tony Warstadt said.

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   Because attendance percentages continue to decrease and discipline percentages continue to increase, school officials are wanting to add in an alternative school. 

   “There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, and there will still be more decisions to be made about the program as a whole. Overall, it will be for MO Options students, credit recovery, and students that need an alternative placement for their classes. The student would be recommended by counselors and possibly teachers. The administrators would be the ones that will select them. The alternative program would help with attendance, graduation rate, and hopefully discipline as well,” Gemes said. 

   High school principal Danny Morrison said the program would focus on academic and behavior interventions. The Mo Options program focuses on helping students at risk for dropping out of school. Currently, students in this program are bussed to State Fair Community College for these services.

   “They will be referred to on a case by case situation,” Morrison said. 

   Even after all of these projects are fulfilled, administrators admit there are many other building projects needed in the district. 

   “Our building is old and something seems to constantly be needing repaired or upgraded,” Morrison said.

  The $18 million bond won’t cover every need. There is a need for a new building or upgrade for the concession stand and restrooms at the football field and possible alternative program rooms at the elementary buildings to name a few.

   “At North, we will still be lacking space. Even with moving fifth grade out, the preschool move will use up the open classrooms, so I will still not have any open rooms or closets. We have future plans at the district-level to fix this and I’m thankful for an administrative team that is planning for the future,” North elementary principal Rani Ward said.

   South, however, will free up space and be able to remove one of the trailers on campus.

   “At South, we would be sending 5th grade to JBMS and some preschool classes to North school. This will enable South to be able to remove a mobile classroom (Trailer). This space is a big strain on maintenance and being removed will provide better security for students/ staff which is our top priority. The removal of the mobile classroom will enable us to reimagine how we use our outdoor space and playground areas. Plus having potential additional classroom/ intervention areas,” Warstadt said. 

  “The projects on this Proposition KIDS is step one in our plan. We need these projects completed, so that we can focus on the future plan of our long range facility plan.” Gemes said.

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Hailey Ferguson
Hailey Ferguson, Managing Editor - The Wildcat Online
This is sophomore Hailey Ferguson’s second year on the journalism staff. This year she will be the social media and web managing editor. Ferguson is involved in volleyball, softball, basketball, and student council. Outside of school she works at the Last Resort Campground and Country Charm. She enjoys babysitting and would cancel certain plans to babysit kids she loves. After high school, she plans to get her degree in teaching. She wants to be an elementary school teacher, grade Kindergarten-Third. She also wants to be a high school volleyball coach. As of right now, she is hoping to go to Northwest. After college, she plans to keep working to be able to provide for her family. Her immediate family include her parents, Mike and Andrea and her siblings, Garrett, Kylee, and Avery. Ferguson is a very determined and hardworking person and ready to take on this next year on staff. 

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