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  • When is the election, and who can vote?​
    The election will be held Tuesday, August 29, 2023, and will be open to all registered voters in the USD 214 district. Early voting will begin August 14, 2023, at the Grant County Courthouse. On election day, voters can cast their ballot at their typical precinct locations. The last day to register to vote to participate in this election is August 8, 2023. For more voting information, visit​
  • What is the amount of the bond?​
    The bond request is $44,750,000​
  • What is a school bond issue?​
    A bond is a state-approved funding process for a set scope of projects. When voters approve a bond, the school district sells bonds in the authorized amount and uses the proceeds of the sale to pay for those projects in the bond. In many ways, the bonding process is like a homeowner obtaining a mortgage and making payments over a period of years. School bond elections require a simple majority to pass (50 percent plus one).​
  • How can bond funds be used?​
    Bond funds can only be used for constructing, equipping, maintaining and furnishing district facilities. This makes bond funds different from the district's operating funds that are used to pay salaries, textbooks and other day-to-day expenses. Bond funds can only be used for brick-and-mortar projects and cannot be legally used for anything else. This is an important distinction to remember. Bond funds and operational/salary funds are separate, and according to state law, these funds cannot be used interchangeably.​
  • What will the bond fund?​
    Major safety, accessibility, and infrastructure updates will be made to Hickok Elementary, Sullivan Elementary, and Ulysses High School. In addition, a new junior high wing and a new high school wing will be added to Ulysses High School.
  • How will security and safety be improved?​
    The safety and security of students in every building is a major focus of the bond. Secure entrances will be provided, wherein all visitors will enter at the main entrance and be required to check in at the office. All building entrances will be automatically secured by electronic access control.​
  • What is the benefit in starting this work now?​
    We can all agree, students deserve spaces that are conducive to learning. Our aging facilities need an overhaul, and construction costs are on the rise. The more we delay, the more the cost increases for taxpayers in the future, and the longer students lack the facilities they deserve.​
  • Why is sales tax being included in this bond proposal?​
    The one-percent sales tax proposal would not only significantly reduce the term of the bond, it reduces the burden of the bond on property owners by allowing the cost to be shared with others who come into our community and spend money. In real terms, on a $100,000 home the average monthly tax increase would be $11.50 with the 1% sales tax and $16.29 without the 1% sales tax, equaling a savings of around $5 per month.​
  • Why are there two questions on the ballot?​
    There are two questions because there are two government entities involved: city and school. However, only voters who live within Ulysses city limits will see two questions - one about approving general obligation bonds for $44.75 million dollars and a second question approving a 1% sales tax to assist with paying off the general obligation bond. Those who live outside Ulysses city limits, but still reside within the USD 214 school district, will only vote for the school bond issue.
  • Can the school bond pass without the sales tax?​
    Yes, the school bond can pass with or without the sales tax question passing. ​
  • Why are you recommending we move grades 7 and 8 to the high school?​
    It is being proposed that in addition to major renovations of the current high school, additional space be added to now accommodate grades 7-12. This would allow the school district to move away from an old middle school facility and focus improvements on three facilities instead of four. In addition to being an aging facility, the current middle school sits on a major highway that students must cross multiple times per day, creating an unsafe environment. ​
  • In moving the 7th and 8th graders to the high school, will the middle school students be separated from the high school students?
    With the renovations there will be a separate middle school wing and high school wing. While there will be some shared classrooms, including a shared lunchroom, the middle school and high school will be on a different bell schedule and have separate lunch periods so there would be very little intermingling between the two groups of students.
  • Are there other schools in this area that have their 7th-12th grade students on one campus?
    Yes, there are three league schools that function as 7-12 campus facilities.
  • What will happen to the current Middle School facility?​
    The Kepley Middle School auditorium will be upgraded as part of the bond project and the auditorium and gym will continue to be used by the school district. The new equipment in the Kepley Kitchen will be used in the kitchen renovations of the other three buildings. A large part of Kepley Middle School will then be renovated to become the USD 214 District office. The current concept for the Kepley cafeteria is to turn it into a future board meeting/education meeting space.
  • Will all Kepley Middle School staff move to the high school?
    Yes, at this time all current Kepley Middle School staff would transition to the updated 7-12 building.
  • What will happen to the Joyce school building where the district offices are currently located?
    The USD 214 Board of Education will work with the community to look for other purposes for that building that would benefit the community and surrounding area.
  • Will the grade configurations stay the same at both elementary schools?​
    With seventh and eighth grade moving to the high school, Hickok Elementary School would now house Pre-K through Third grade and Sullivan Elementary School would now house Fourth grade through Sixth grade.​
  • What will be the impact on my taxes?​
    A mill levy is the "tax rate" that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value. Our current mill levy is 39.85. If the bond issue passes with the 1% sales tax, the mill levy will be 51.98 (or 56.98 with no added sales tax). For a $100,000 home, this increase equals $11.50 per month ($16.29 without the sales tax). For a $100,000 commercial property, this increase equals $25.00 per month ($35.42 without the sales tax). For more information about residential, commercial, and agricultural property, see the full Taxpayer Cost Analysis here.
  • How much debt does the district currently carry?​
    Unlike most districts, USD 214 has no long-term debt or leases. The last bond issue was paid off in 2014.​
  • When would the bond project be complete?
    Due to the amount of work that is needed in each of the three buildings, it will take a phased approach to get all the work complete. It is estimated the the total project would be completed in 2026.
  • What are the ballot questions?​
    For those that live within the Ulysses city limits will see two questions on the ballot: the first will determine whether the bond will move forward, and the second will determine whether the bond will be repaid in part by a sales tax in Ulysses. Those that live outside Ulysses city limits, but still reside within the USD 214 school district, will only see the school bond issue on the ballot.​ ​ Question 1: Should USD 314 issue a school facilities bond?​ Shall Unified School District No. 214, Grant County, Kansas (Ulysses) (the “District”) be authorized to issue general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $44,750,000 (the “Bonds”) to pay the costs to: (a) construct, furnish and equip improvements and renovations to Hickock Elementary School, including kitchen and cafeteria remodel; interior and exterior building improvements; site work; classroom improvements; window, lighting, HVAC, electrical, and fire alarm system improvements; and asbestos abatement; (b) construct, furnish and equip improvements and renovations to Sullivan Elementary School, including kitchen and cafeteria remodel; interior and exterior building improvements; classroom improvements; lighting, HVAC, electrical, and fire alarm system improvements; and asbestos abatement; (c) construct, furnish and equip improvements and renovations to Kepley Middle School, including auditorium and restroom improvements; (d) construct, furnish and equip improvements, additions and renovations to Ulysses High School, including new additions for a middle school wing and a high school wing; a new weight room facility; kitchen and cafeteria remodel; interior and exterior building improvements; site work; classroom, culinary arts, shop areas, music wing, and wrestling room remodel and improvements; and window, lighting, HVAC, electrical, and fire alarm system improvements; (e) make all other necessary improvements appurtenant thereto (collectively the “Project”) and pay costs of issuance and interest on the Bonds during construction of the Project, all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 10 101 et seq., K.S.A. 25-2018(f), K.S.A. 72-5457, and K.S.A. 72 5458 et seq.?​ ​ Question 2: Should the City of Ulysses implement at 1% sales tax to help fund bond repayment?​ Shall the City of Ulysses, Kansas, be authorized, pursuant to the authority of K.S.A. 12 187 et seq., to impose a one percent (1%) special purpose Citywide retailers’ sales tax (the “Educational Sales Tax”), the revenues to be derived therefrom to be used for the purpose of assisting Unified School District No. 214, Grant County, Kansas (Ulysses) (the “District”) in the repayment of a portion of the principal of and interest on general obligation bonds to be issued by the District in an amount not to exceed $44,750,000 (the “District Bonds”) to pay the costs to construct, furnish and equip educational facilities and improvements in the District; provided that the collection of the Educational Sales Tax shall commence on January 1, 2024, or as soon thereafter as permitted by law, and shall expire ten (10) years after its commencement; provided further that the imposition of such Educational Sales Tax shall be subject to the following conditions: (i) approval by the electors of the City of this proposition; and (ii) approval by the electors of the District at an election to be held on August 29, 2023 of a proposition authorizing the issuance of the District Bonds?​
  • Will the Board of Education and Bond Steering Committee be available for questions?​
    Yes, please contact them anytime by either reaching out directly or submitting questions on the contact page at​
  • What do we anticipate the interest rate to be on these bonds?
    The anticipated interest rate is 4.7%. The last USD 214 school bonds that were sold in March of 2001 sold for an average coupon rate of 4.16%. This bond was paid off in 2014.
  • If interest rates drop in the future, can they be refinanced at a lower rate?
    Absolutely. It is very common for bond issues to be refinanced. Given the conservative plan of financed assumptions, it is likely the bonds will be retired earlier than planned.
  • How does the current sales tax in Ulysses compare to other communities our size and in this area of the state?
  • Why build a new middle school space at the current high school when you are leaving open space in the KMS building?
    The cost to remodel the KMS building was estimated at $8.1 million. The cost of the new middle school edition at the high school is $7.2 million. Not only does building a new middle school space save costs, it also builds a better learning environment for our students as we move forward.
  • What would it cost to tear down the old section of the KMS building and put in additional parking?
    The estimate to tear down the old section of KMS, repair the side of the auditorium where the old building would be torn off, and build a parking lot was estimated to cost $3.3 million. The bond committee did not think the community could support the addition of these dollars into this school bond project.
  • Is the Joyce School building a historical site?
    There are four locations in Grant County that are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. They are: Grant County Courthouse District, Grant County Shop (Grant County Museum), Lower Cimarron Spring (Formerly Wagon Bed Springs), and Santa Fe Trail - Grant County Segment 1 (Klein's Ruts).
  • If the bond and sales tax questions pass, when will the taxes start being paid?
    The property tax will start in the 2023 tax year, for the 2024 tax collection. The first payment with the new property tax would start in December of 2023. The sales tax would take effect January 1, 2024.
  • What does the amortization schedule look like for this bond?
  • What is the average home value in the City of Ulysses?
    The current average home value for the City of Ulysses is $130,550.
  • What is the cost breakdown for each school building?
    To view a detailed scope of work for each facility, click here.


111 S. Baughman Street

Ulysses, KS  67880



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