Ballots were mailed to voters April 19th for a school bond for Shepherd Public Schools. Voters are being asked to approve a combined 17.9 million dollars between a high school bond and an elementary school bond.

KULR-8 went underneath a kindergarten classroom in the basement where Superintendent Carter with Shepherd Public Schools shows the amount of mold underneath this floor. Because of this, three classrooms and one music room have been displaced.

Carter said what prompted the school bond being put up for a vote happened back in August when he had mold tests done on the building in which their kindergarten is located. It was built in 1911.

"While there's not regulations on the amount of mold spores, everyone that read the tests deemed the building unsafe," Carter said. "So, we had to condemn four classrooms and shove those students into an already crowded building which makes us all the more crowded."

The superintendent said the elementary school building is sitting at 110% of its max capacity.

"We have kids learning in hallways and in closets," Carter said.

He added there is just one small kitchen that supplies breakfast and lunch to more than 800 students. Students in 2-5 grades are required to eat in their classrooms. As for junior high and high school students, their food is transported manually by cart, which can be difficult during the winter.

Supplies for the meal program are kept in an outdoor storage unit instead of the kitchen. Carter also said the library, which served as a diner first, is in need of some serious updates.

"No one's built anything here in 30 years," Carter said. "We go on an assumption that the school will always make due, but it's time that we quit making due."

 And then, there are security concerns.

"We don't have a line of sight from any of our offices to people coming in the building," Carter said.

Carter said the school bond needs to pass in order for the town to survive.

"We are Shepherd," Carter said. "This bond issue covers one percent growth for the next 25 years. It does plan for the growth of this community and with that growth, everyone wins."

The school bond is split between two ballots: one for the elementary school and one for the high school.

If the bond passes, those in Shepherd would pay for both, but those in the Pioneer School District that borders Shepherd, would only pay for the high school portion of the bond since they have no high school.

Ballots are due May 7th.

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