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USD 407 Facilities Steering Committee Meets Again with Schaefer Architecture, Members of the Public

USD 407 Steering Committee Meeting 2-21-24
USD 407 Steering Committee Meeting 2-21-24

The USD 407 Facilities Steering Committee held its June meeting Wednesday with architects from Schaefer Architecture and members of the public at Russell Junior-Senior High School.

Architects Terry Wiggers and Malcolm Watkins were in attendance and led the discussion with Steering Committee Co-Chair Mandy Trout.

The meeting included members of the committee, members of the public and USD 407 staff.

USD 407 Superintendent Jordan Perez started the meeting with a discussion regarding a recent talk he and a couple USD 407 Board of Education members had with USD 299 Sylvan-Lucas Unified about a possible countywide sales tax to help fund district facility improvements and how that would work for USD 299 and other districts with land in Russell County. Perez said USD 299 was open to the idea. Perez said he has not been able to connect yet with USD 399 Natoma-Paradise-Waldo or USD 112 Central Plains.

Perez also briefly discussed the process regarding the selection of Schaefer Architecture to lead this current bond process for USD 407. He explained Schaefer was already working on other projects for the district, including the welding shop and bus barn, before taking on the bond exploration and overall facility improvement process. Perez and the Board of Education researched other architecture firms, but ultimately landed on Schaefer following that research.

Following Perez, Trout presented information that had been requested at a previous meeting about the median income in Russell compared to the state. Russell was on pace with the state average until about 10 years ago and then Russell started to lag behind. Trout said that information helps the committee understand that many are pinching pennies and every dollar matters.

The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing frequently asked questions by the public regarding facilities and a possible bond and how the committee can go about answering those questions with information on the school district website and other means of dissemination.

The next meeting of the steering committee is August 21 and the public is invited to attend.

Find more information about the steering committee and documents at