Questions and Answers

Do we know what the names of the 2 new high schools, mascots and school colors are going to be?

The Board of Education is currently forming naming committees for the high schools and will be soliciting ideas from the public in January. Recommendations from the naming committees will be presented to the Board in March or April.

Where are the new schools proposed to be located?

One High School on NW 48th & W Holdrege, One High School at S 70th & Saltillo Rd, and One Elementary School at 102nd just south of Holdrege.

What is the process for naming new high schools?

The Board of Education has a naming process outlined in policy. A community group will solicit names from the community and make a recommendation to the Board of Education.

When will the new high schools open?

The High School on NW 48th & W Holdredge will open in the fall of 2022 and the High School on S 70th & Saltillo will open in the fall of 2023.

When will the new elementary school open?

Fall of 2022.

How does LPS cover school start-up costs? Will that be an increase in General Fund costs?

Yes, new schools increase General Fund costs. The LPS General Fund will need to cover start-up costs such as instructional materials, supplies, and staffing. Teachers traditionally move with students to the new site from existing schools. The state aid formula does provide some increased funding for new schools. In addition, state aid does fund a portion of Early Childhood.

How many Pre-K and Kindergartners will there be at the Early Childhood Center to be located in the Arnold area?

Capacity of the current design is 240 students in an all-day program. The capacity would increase if any of the Early Childhood classes were half-day.

Will students for the Early Childhood site be bused in from other neighborhoods? If so, from where and how many?

Potentially, if capacity is available and needs continue in nearby neighborhoods.

Will the Early Childhood facility at Arnold be another EduCare facility?

Not at this point.

Will all the Arnold Kindergartners be at the Early Childhood facility?

TBD. If the existing facility has capacity for K, then they would stay there. This will need to be evaluated each year as the Arnold neighborhood grows.

Will the Early Childhood facility create capacity for growth at Arnold?


Does the district have access to the LHA property so the traffic circulation can be improved?

Our intentions would be to complete the roadway including LHA property as part of the project. LPS will need to work this out with the City.

Can you keep that corner on the high school site from being a Quick Shop that would sell alcohol?

An establishment cannot get a liquor license unless it is 150 feet or more from a school.

How can we have input on the high school design?

After the bond election, we’ll provide community/neighborhood input opportunities on the design/process.

Why are public schools still public and why haven’t they been privatized and taken off the taxpayer dole?

Providing each and every child with an education is a foundational pillar of our country.  The Nebraska Constitution Article VII-1 states that “The Legislature shall provide for the free instruction in the common schools of this state of all persons between the ages of five and twenty-one years.”

We currently reside in the Grandview Estates Subdivision and we are currently paying a bond issue for Norris Schools, even though we have been told our residence is in LPS district. Will we be required to pay for a bond issue in two different school districts if the LPS bond passes?

Bond issues remain with the residence at the time of the bond issue vote. If your property was recently annexed into Lincoln and into LPS, you will pay on the Norris bonds that existed prior to the annexation and only new bond issues for LPS, post annexation. You will not pay for LPS previous bond issues from 1999, 2006, 2014, if your property was annexed after 2014. Yes, you will pay previous bond issues for Norris and the new bond issue for LPS, but not overlapping time periods.

What is happening with the Yankee Hill Education Center building and location?

Replacement of the current Yankee Hill Education Center building is on Tier 2 of the LPS 10-Year Facilities & Infrastructure Plan.  This means that the project is on the list for the future but is not currently funded within the scope of the 2020 bond issue.  The scope of the project would be defined at the point the project is funded.

The bond issue is for $290 million, but Facility Advisory Committee recommendations totaled $461 million.  Even if the current bond issue passes, is another bond election anticipated in 12 years or less?

Yes.  The next opening in the current debt schedule is the roll-off of the 2010 Build America Bonds in the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund.  The final payment for this is due January 15, 2030.  Therefore, a new debt payment will be possible in the 2029-30 budget.  Market conditions could create an opportunity to pay off debt earlier which could create an earlier window.

What is the difference between a four-section and a six-section school?

The sections refer to the number of classrooms per grade level.  A four-section school has four classrooms per grade level (Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, etc.).  A six-section school has six classrooms per grade level.

Will the 2020 bond proposal include a pool at the S 70th & Satillo high location?

The design process for the proposed high schools is just beginning.  The plan is to build comprehensive school buildings with comparable facilities to the existing six high schools, including swimming pools.

We are told this is a $290 million bond.  How can individuals determine their personal cost based upon their property tax assessment, and for how long will we be paying this bond?

The analysis and planning for the 2020 bond issue indicates that it can be funded with no planned increase to the current combined bond and building fund levy rate based on the current district property valuation.  To determine your individual tax impact, you can take your taxable value divided by 100, multiplied by seven cents or .07. The analysis done to date for the bond issue is based on a 25-year amortization.  Should the 2020 bond pass, the market conditions at the time of issuance will determine the length of term.

The tax request for the 1999 High School Bonds and a portion of the 2014 Bond issued in 2016 will roll off in 2020-21.  Replacing the 1999 and 2016 principal and interest payments with new bond debt creates a window in 2020 to develop a plan to issue debt without a plan to raise the current bond and building fund levy rate.

What changes are going to be made to the LPS District Maps?

The district will work through the process of establishing boundaries consistent with Board of Education policy prior to the new schools opening. The process includes community input and decisions are typically made one year prior to the opening of the new schools. Existing boundaries are continually reviewed to ensure the district is maximizing the space available in schools. These reviews will continue.

Will both new high schools have complete athletic facilities with turf fields? I have heard that the plan is to turf the practice fields at all the high schools, is this true?

The athletic complex design and turf will be determined based on funding available. The total vision for athletics and activity complexes identified on the LPS 10-Year Facility & Infrastructure Plan totals $25 million. The bond funding proposes to fund $13 million of the $25 million. The vision is a stadium with football and track and a competition baseball field at the NW site and an investment in soccer, softball, and tennis at the SE site. In addition, the plan includes an investment in a multipurpose turf field at each of our existing sites (not Lincoln High because Beechner is already turf). The remaining funding will need to be achieved through community partnerships and fundraising OR phasing in the athletics and activities complex elements. If sufficient funding is not available at the time of construction, the new high schools may start with grass not turf fields.

Please make the cost simple to figure. What is the projected cost per $100,000 of property?

The cost per $100,000 of valuation is approximately 70 dollars per year.

The 10-year plan shows IAQ Projects for Everett ($15 million) and Park ($32 million) included in the Tier 1 projects. It also shows IAQ projects in Tier 3 costing $1 - $12 million. Why is the Park IAQ so much more expensive?

Both of the Park and Everett IAQs were part of a long-range plan developed in the late 1990’s to provide an extensive overhaul of all of the LPS school facilities with new HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, & Air Conditioning) systems upgrades, code upgrades (i.e., Life Safety Code, Americans w/Disability Act, International Building Codes, International Plumbing Codes, International Electrical Codes, etc.), building shell improvements (i.e., roofing, tuck-pointing, caulking & sealants, insulation, etc.), and any other maintenance-related improvements that the site/facility required, to bring them up to district standards.  Thus, the current cost.

Future IAQs that are currently listed in Tier 3 will cost less per square foot because of the ground work performed when the initial IAQs were completed.  As an example, we will not have to remove an entire roofing system and replace with new insulation and roofing, thus minimizing the cost the second time around.

Another example would be HVAC upgrades on the 2nd & 3rd Tier projects.  The original IAQs invested in new mechanical rooms, duct work, power, and plumbing with the associated equipment.  These second round IAQs will not have those same investments as a necessary component to the project scope.

Will there be a YMCA facility attached to the new/proposed elementary?

This elementary school will not have a YMCA. Any future considerations for partnership with the YMCA at future sites are yet to be determined.

Will there be a rec center attached to the new school in Waterford? All the current rec centers are in west Lincoln. The northeast part of the city needs a rec center such as the one at Calvert.

No. The decision regarding the need and placement of a new rec center in Lincoln should occur with the City of Lincoln Parks & Recreation Department.

What about a middle school in 102 and holdrege. Cullerton doesn't have a good reputation. We already have Meadowlane and brownell in that area. Are there any plans to build another middle school around our area?

There is not a new middle school in the 2020 bond plan. There is a new elementary school at 102nd and Holdredge. There are new middle schools in the district long-range 10-year plan.

I just looked at my property tax receipt for my house. There are mil levies is for 1999, 2006, and 2014 bonds. Are these all going to go away, as you say the property taxes will not increase. I also noticed that LPS also gets about 1/2 of my property taxes for what I guess is their operating fund. Will this go up as these new schools are opened. Who has control over this, or should we just assume that our property taxes will automatically go up as these new schools open up? I also see an LPS capital purpose entry listed on my property taxes. I assume that is not for the new schools. What is it for, will it ever go away?

The 1999 levy will go away and the 2014 bond levy will decrease.  The current general fund levy is $1.04 the maximum levy is $1.05.  The school board will determine the tax levy in future years.  The Capital Purpose levy pay for bonds for new schools build under the Federal stimulus act in 2008, it will roll off when the debt payments are done.  That fund is not set to roll off at this time.  The 2020 bond is expected to utilize the 1999 and 2014 bonds rolling off.

Why don't they just make the consolidated sports complex into one area and repurpose the existing space into classrooms?

Constructing an athletic and activity facility on both new high school campuses is more cost-effective than one consolidated facility. This is due to the cost-savings that will occur by simultaneous design and construction with the new high schools. There will still be space at each new high school to add additional classrooms as needed.

How will zoning work with the new locations? We currently live around 95th & Holdrege and are part of the Medowlane school district. Our child is to start kindergarten in 2021. With the new elementary being built off 102nd and Holdridge ( I have heard opening Fall 2022 if bond passes) will we be rezoned into the new elementary school.

The process of drawing attendance boundaries for new schools follows Board of Education policy which includes opportunity for community input. Decisions about boundaries are typically made one year prior to the opening of a new school. Additionally, existing boundaries are continually reviewed to ensure the district is maximizing the space available in schools. These reviews will continue.

Why did you choose the 70th & Saltillo site? If we were to drive our kids 3 miles south to this school and back to work, it would be ~45 min total commute. Why not choose a site a little farther north that would be on people's daily routes to jobs that are centrally located?

The district looked at more than a dozen parcels in this region of the City in the search for one of this size. The first task is to find an interested seller, then an acceptable price. In addition, the location that was chosen gives developers and the City an opportunity to grow up to and around us versus constructing a high school and all that that type of complex brings within an existing neighborhood. We want to be a good neighbor to those to whom we are adjacent. Lastly, the choice took into consideration the long-term growth of the city. Four of the six existing high schools are more than 50 years old. The choice of location took into account the vision of where the city limits of Lincoln could likely be in another 50 years.

What are the estimated free/reduced lunch population percentages at the high schools?

The total percentage of LPS high school students participating in the free/reduced lunch program is 42%. The percentage of participating students by grade level can be found in Table 1-23 of the LPS Statistical Handbook. The percentage of participating students by high school can be found in Table 1-27 of the LPS Statistical Handbook. The LPS Statistical Handbook can be accessed here.