Landslide: Topeka 501 $143 Million Bond Issue Passes

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- Topeka School District officials say results Tuesday night mean a brighter future for kids.

The bond emphasizes student safety and boosts the science curriculum at Topeka Public Schools.

USD 501 Deputy Superintendent Larry Robbins was eager to spread the news when the count showed 65 percent voted 'yes' on a $143 million dollar bond issue.

"The theme for the bond was 'Securing Our Future

District officials say prior bonds ending mean the new issue should not increase residents property taxes.

The money will add FEMA approved shelters in 12 public schools, improve security, renovate all middle and high school science classrooms and create a Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers, establishing partnerships between students and local businesses.

USD 501 Director of Communications, Ron Harbaugh said, "We had over 50 sessions and the past 8 weeks have been crazy but it all paid off."

USD 501 officials say schools like Jardine Middle School will benefit immensely from the bond. They also say voting yes was an approval of Topeka Public Schools' future.

Robbins said, "It certainly shows the amount of support we have from our patrons and that they are behind us every step of the way to secure a better education for our students."

The plan does mean Avondale west, Shaner, and Bishop Elementary schools will close. Those students will attend a new Pre-K through 8 expansion at Jardine Middle School.

Capital city school also is slated to close. Voter turnout for the mail ballot was roughly 32 percent.