Spring 2014 Election

Parkview asks for building, operating expenses

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Gina Duwe
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ORFORDVILLE—Parkview School District voters will decide April 1 whether now is the time to renovate and build additions to create an updated junior/high school through a $17 million referendum.

The high school was built in 1964, and the junior high was added on in 1970. Since 1999, voters have turned down four of the last five referendums to build a new high school or do facility maintenance.

Residents have questioned why the district doesn't build a new school behind the current campus, but Superintendent Steve Lutzke said cost was one reason the planning committee picked the proposed plan.

A new school would cost at least $27 million, and that wouldn't include updates at the elementary school, he said at a recent public information meeting.

“The committee quickly realized this is an investment we're asking you to make. We understand what it's going to do to your taxes,” he said. “We did try to be as frugal as we could without saying, 'Let's just keep putting a Band-Aid on the district and keep nickel and diming it.'”

The referendum asks for $17 million over 20 years to swap the Orfordville schools. The plan is to renovate and expand the current elementary school to create essentially a new junior/high school and to renovate the current junior/high school and turn it into an elementary school.

The primary school in Footville would close.

The new high school would include new science labs, agriculture education and technology education labs, new band and choir rooms, new library and a three-station gym.

In a second referendum question, the district is asking permission to spend $350,000 in each of the next three years for technology and curriculum materials, classroom materials, professional development training and special education.

The district anticipates a $2.2 million deficit over the next three years, Lutzke said.

Parkview last went to referendum for operating expenses in 2010, when a request for $2.4 million over four years failed.

If both referendums are approved, the tax impact on a $100,000 property would be an additional $360 for each of the first three years and $270 annually in years four through 20.

Taxes on farmland would increase between 60 cents and $1 per acre, the district estimates. Farmland with barns, silos or homes could be more than $1 per acre because of the way improvements are taxed, the district said.

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