Mammoth Spring Schools to discuss Qualified Zone Academy Bonds a week before vote
MAMMOTH SPRING -- On Sept. 13, one week before the Mammoth Spring School bond issue appears on the election ballot, the Mammoth Spring School Board will hold an information meeting regarding the topic.
"The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. This will provide Mammoth Spring School Board patrons an opportunity to learn just what the Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) are," the superintendent said.
This is the first time such as issue has been placed before the voters of the Mammoth Spring School District. QZABs are no-interest bonds. The lending institution involved with the bonds makes its money through federal tax credits in lieu of interest it would have charged to the school.
Taylor and the Mammoth Spring School Board support the bond issue. The school is asking for $424,728.
"We will be targeting three different goals of improvement at the school if the issue passes," the superintendent said.
He said the first goal is to provide a medical professions lab for student in grades 9-12.
"Our district decided two years ago to offer a fourth vocational program, even though the state only requires three. We started a medical professions program on its own without any funding from the state. We have been renovating the existing agri building into a modern, state -of-the-art medical professions lab," Taylor said.
The superintendent said support has been tremendous. He said some of the equipment for the program has been donated and a local physician has agreed to be a private partner.
"The school district is looking into coupling this program with a distance learning lab, where classes can be articulated with area colleges or an instructor. We are hoping to have internships and job shadowing to supplement classroom instruction as well as a health fair open to the school and community. The lab will have an office, a bathroom, a mock hospital room, as well as new equipment, new furniture and a new roof on the building," he said.
The second goal would be the distance learning lab. "The capabilities of a distance learning lab are limitless. With equipment provided by a USDA grant, our school can have many classes brought to our campus that could not have otherwise been taught. It will allow for teacher inservice to be provided to all our staff without the expense of travel and possibly be utilized at night for adult educational classes," Taylor said.
The third goal at the school will be to provide a more safe and comfortable learning environment and to address the needs described in the school facilities assessment.
"We plan to replace the roof on the high school and add energy efficient windows as well as put modern heat and air units in all the classrooms," he said.
The superintendent said the buildings in the district are going to have to be kept up to protect the school district's investments.
He said the school currently has one computer for every three students at the school which amounts to 125 computers at an investment in excess of $100,000.