Following the failure – by just a few votes – of the $8 million bond on the Feb. 14 ballot, the school board chose to split the initiative into a bond and a levy that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.
It’s what we, as well as other community members, advocated for, so we are pleased to see this development.
The $10.8 million bond will focus on safety upgrades that were in the original February bond: new heating and water system and interior work in the high school; Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant electronic doors; new music/multi-purpose room; interior upgrades to the elementary school; and interior work in the Waldron Island school. The new bond includes paving the high school parking lot and completely renovating the Old Gym. It’s for 20 years at 29 cents per $1000 property valuation.
By adding more items to the upgrade list, it is hopeful that this will be the last phase of the campus renovations, and our children can learn and grow in a safe, healthy environment.
Removed from the bond and included in the $1.6 million levy is the rehabilitation of the dilapidated fields and site work for a new track. Phyllis Henigson generously donated $1 million for the track (in honor of her late husband Bob) as well as an endowment to maintain it. It would be open to both students and the public. Without approval of the $1.6 million levy, the school cannot afford to build the track. It would be paid over six years at a cost of 11 cents per $1000 assessed property value.
It’s really hard to turn down a donation that also includes long-term care for its upkeep – plus the fields need to be improved anyway.
We advocate voting yes on the bond and levy, and if the last election is any indication, these two measures will be supported by the community as well. Last time around, 16 ballots (overwhelmingly in favor of the bond) came in after the election closed, so please remember to vote early.