Voters pass half of two-part, $25 million Elkhorn Area School District referendum
ELKHORN—The design process will begin immediately for improvements at Elkhorn Area School District schools after residents supported one of two referendum questions Tuesday.
Residents approved one part of the two-piece $25 million referendum to address space, safety and program needs at the five district schools.
The nonrecurring referendum asked to exceed state-imposed revenue limits by about $25.15 million.
Residents voted 1,997 to 1,185 in favor of the first part. It requested $20.42 million for districtwide capital maintenance, upgrades to technical education programs, safety improvements, and to address space needs such as renovating classrooms and new gymnasiums for two elementary schools. The elementary schools now use their gyms for physical education and cafeteria space.
Residents voted 1,567 to 1,608 against the referendum’s second part, which sought $4.73 million for improvements and additions to the high school’s athletic facilities.
Superintendent Jason Tadlock said he is “very excited for the level of community support shown for question No. 1,” which included projects that will “have the greatest districtwide impact.”
The changes will accommodate increasing enrollment, allow the district to be more competitive and bring facilities up to date.
The second part was rejected by 1.29 percent, a margin that shows interest, Tadlock said, but is expected when you ask for upgrades to athletic facilities.
“We felt that the needs in question two are very much warranted, but that narrowly failed at passing,” Tadlock said.
Administrators and the school board will regroup and discuss what is next in terms of tackling the athletic facility needs, Tadlock said.
Bidding for the approved projects is planned to start in fall, and construction will begin soon after that. Officials hope to wrap up the projects in fall 2017. The project order will be decided during planning.
The property tax increase for the referendum could be 28 cents per $1,000 of equalized home value. That equals an extra $28 in taxes on a $100,000 home.
The district encompasses eight municipalities, including Elkhorn and the towns of Delavan, Geneva, LaFayette, La Grange, Spring Prairie, Sugar Creek and Troy.
Last updated: 10:08 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2015