Doniphan-Trumbull looking to make improvements

Local4 News at 5
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 9:52 PM CDT
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DONIPHAN, Neb. (KSNB) - Doniphan-Trumbull Public School is looking to make some key improvements in the coming years, and the district is asking both parents and community members to help make it possible.

The school propositions must be voted on by November 14. Proposition one is for additions and renovations to the entire school, which would add classrooms but won’t exceed $22.8 million. Proposition two would provide a new gym and locker room that won’t exceed $9.3 million.

Proposition two can’t pass without the first, however. The school has seen zero improvements in the last 40 years, which has officials hopeful for voter support. If proposition one passes, it would add more than 38,000-square feet to the school, and with bond issues comes additional tax. Officials said it’ll be a slight raise because the bond would cover the majority of the cost. They say it’s all for a better learning environment.

“The issue for us is safety; and we’re trying to ensure that we’ve got a safe environment for all kids,” said superintendent Jeremy Braden. “We’re going to eliminate our modulars, bring kids inside the building. We want a healthy environment for our students and our teachers and our families coming into the building -- both addressing locked and secure entrances, upgrading doors.”

Braden said modulars have housed kindergarten since 2007, and the renovations would also improve the HVAC system. They also want to get kids out of doubled-up classrooms and expand space for their career pathways classes, as their CNA course is rapidly gaining interest. If passed, construction would start in April and conclude by August 2025.

Board member Amanda Groff said the improvements would make the building healthier, and that the additional space is a pressing need.

“It’s going to allow students to not have to necessarily learn in a small space that could almost be a closet,” said Groff. “Or it will allow for us to not have to use what were storage facilities as classrooms giving them more space to grow and learn.”

Groff said the upgrades will help them recruit teachers as well, saying with the current school it’s hard to compete with other schools in the area. She said giving teachers the tools they need to be successful will help with retention. The school also needs the updates to meet ADA requirements in certain areas. Braden said the improvements are something that’ll impact the school for years to come.

“I think when people see communities reinvesting in themselves and reinvesting in their youth and those in the learning environment, that’s the largest commitment I think a community can make, is to their future,” said Braden. “So when that’s done beyond words and in actions, that speaks volumes for people that might move here, that people might work here, people that might pass through and do business here.”

Braden said the community constantly supports the school and that members have expressed they want to provide opportunities for student to perform at the highest level and on the biggest stage.

“One of the things we’ve heard from the community over the years is that it would be nice to be able to host the district competitions and our current gym facility is not capable of holding that sort of number for basketball competitions for at the district level,” said Groff. “So this would allow us to bring that in which also brings the school a little bit of revenue.”

Braden said the school has a proud basketball and volleyball tradition, but the gym doesn’t have a regulation length court. Braden said the gym will have regulation court and 1.800 seats. He said being able to host conference, district, and postseason games is important to the community.