Need to know: The registration deadline for the September 10 special election is Friday, August 16.

Dickson Public Schools is in need of some improvements, and its superintendent wants everyone to see first-hand what students in the district are facing.

Starting today, Dickson will begin hosting tours of the campus highlighting areas Superintendent Jeff Colclasure says need to be addressed though a $6.95 million bond. Voters will decide on the bond issue during a September 10 election.

“Our two biggest projects are the early childhood education center and an elementary PE center,” Colclasure said, adding that the bond would include security upgrades, new lights for the school’s softball and baseball fields, a new roof for the school’s “old gym,” air conditioning for the “new gym” and bathroom improvements throughout campus.

Colclasure said the two larger projects would provide the school with much-needed classroom and activity space.

“We are running out of classroom space, especially for some of the special things we offer,” Colclasure said. “They also let us get our kids out of the rock building, which was built in the 40s and has some maintenance issues.”

Colclasure said the bond would increase the millage rate by about 2.75%, adding that the average property owner would pay about a $30.25 increase per $100,000 in property value.

Carter County Assessor Kerry Ross confirmed the rate increase saying that the estimate was based on current market values and could increase (probable) or decrease (highly unlikely) depending on current market trends and future property valuation.

Colclasure said the increase would enhance the overall quality of education for students by upgrading some facilities and replacing others.

“The current PE facility is in terrible condition and it has some flooding issues,” Colclasure said. “Students have to leave the building just to use the restrooms.”

The state of the facilities is what prompted Colclasure to implement the guided tours, asking parents and community members to experience first-hand the facilities students are subjected to.

“The PE building will be demolished, it’s not worth saving,” Colclasure said.

Other improvements will add upgrades to the school’s security system, including cameras.

Colclasure said the oldest building on campus would be repurposed to provide dedicated administrative office space and dedicated space for therapy services, freeing up other parts of campus.

Campus tours are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. today and Thursday, with additional tours planned as needed up until the September 10 election.