Best for West: Prop S approved for Parkway

Parkway thanks community members for voting “Yes on S” with a yard sign.

Parkway thanks community members for voting “Yes on S” with a yard sign.

Six schools without working fire sprinkler systems. Four run-down pools and locker rooms. Outdated security cameras. Prop S dollars will now address these issues.

Proposition S, or “Prop S,” passed in the Nov. 8 midterm election. The bond allows Parkway School District to borrow $265 million for district-wide renovations and repairs. At West, repairs include pool and locker room renovations, specific window, elevator and door replacements, security camera upgrades and more.

“[What we update] is priority-based, like our most concerning issues regarding student safety, accessibility and technology. Students are such an important stakeholder group in the conversation. We have to make sure that students have access to things equally across the district,” Principal John McCabe said.

After months of campaigning throughout Parkway, Prop S passed with over 76% in favor and was followed by an email from Superintendent Keith Marty. 

“We are grateful and truly overwhelmed by the support of our community. This is the highest level of support for any Parkway bond issue in at least 30 years. Thank you for joining your friends and neighbors to secure the future of our schools,” Marty said in his email.

A group composed of Parkway parents and community members, Citizens for Parkway Community, advocated through yard signs, voting information and their website. In addition to the community members who put up yard signs and volunteered at polls in support of Prop S, students took part in the action. In addition, swim team members from multiple Parkway high schools have spoken out about pool issues and petitioned for renovations.

“Lane ropes are falling apart. There are a bunch of broken tiles. You cut your hand on them during practice, as well as [on] the tiles,” junior and swim team member Vivian Chen said. “For the team’s future, [the renovations will] be nice. We worked to get the board to listen to us and help us with the pool situation. It’s not just a West problem.”

As well as allocating $133 million for building renovations, the district-wide budget will allow $15 million to update ramps, sidewalks, elevators and playgrounds for community members with disabilities and for safety purposes. Additionally, the bond will not increase tax rates but rather increase the timespan of the district’s debt service. The renovations will start next summer and are planned to end by 2028. 

“I was thrilled [that Prop S passed]. Progress like this is important because Parkway has historically been a model district. We have an obligation to continue to try to make our spaces the best they can be. If we don’t invest in [our schools], they start to fall apart, so you’ve got to take care of everything as if it’s your own. Knowing that Prop S passed and that we’re going to continue to make improvements just feels good,” McCabe said.