Bay-Waveland wants to improve schools with $37.9M bond issue

Special election on bond issue is March 29

The Bay-Waveland School District is asking voters to fund $37.9 million in improvements to schools through a school bond.

The school board approved the plan, which now goes before voters in a special election on March 29.

School Board President Casey Favre said the school bond, if passed, will increase mills to 10.45 to 11.46, depending on the interest rate the district gets when the bonds are secured.

Using 11 mills as a midpoint, Favre said, for every $100,000 in value for a residence, homeowners would pay an additional $110 a year.

So someone with a house valued at $200,000 would pay $220 more per year in taxes to repay the bond.

Residents can go to the Hancock County Tax Assessor’s website and use the Geoportal feature to identify their Total Taxable Value, which is not the same as their market value.

Bay-Waveland Superintendent Dr. Sandra Reed said the need for improvements falls into four categories: establishing a pre-K education program, updating the high school, which was built in 1966, providing a better STEM education and education in the arts and to make improvements in athletic facilities.

“Our high school was built in 1966 and we have all the issues associated with buildings built before 1966,” Reed said. “Some of our classrooms literally have only one electrical outlet in them.

“The last area is that we are going to make some athletic improvements. As our high school was built in 1966, that means that our gym was built then, our restrooms, concession stands and things like that were built then as well and they are just not up to standards that are acceptable today.”

Reed said with Bay St. Louis being an arts community, as well as its proximity to Stennis Space Center, the need for a strong STEM education program, as well as arts education is important to the community.

Reed said the district will be meeting with booster clubs and having a series of parent information meetings to give people the basic information, which also is available on the district website.

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