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Two newcomers join Beloit School Board

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 1, 2008
— The Beloit School Board will get two new faces as the district launches into a facelift on its aging buildings.

Newcomers David Patterson and Rodney Jordan beat incumbent Richard Himmelmann and newcomer Don Wittwer in Tuesday’s election.


Board member Brian Berner did not seek re-election.


Patterson said it was “great news” that one of Turner’s two referendum questions passed Tuesday night.


The district was seeking $8.6 million in two referendum questions to upgrade buildings and athletic facilities and buy land.


The $2.5 million question about the stadium and land purchase failed.


Patterson said voters might have felt that a “yes” vote on the land purchase meant a new school would certainly be built. He thinks a land purchase simply gives the district options if it keeps growing at its current pace.


“If the district continues to grow, there will indeed be crowding,” Patterson said.


Since the first question passed, it takes some immediate pressure off the board. Patterson said he wants to focus on continuing the district’s quality education, upgrading technology and keeping a progressive curriculum.


Jordan said voters were not well enough informed about the land purchase and stadium upgrade question. He said the need to upgrade the athletic field is even more pressing than the need to buy land.


The athletic field is an immediate need, Jordan said, while the land purchase addresses a future need. The athletic field “really needs improvement,” Jordan said, but if housing construction slows in the district, building a new school might not be so pressing.


He agreed with Patterson that land gives the district options, and he expects the district to come back with another question—possibly structured differently—to address the same needs in another referendum.


“The purchase of land, that’s just planning for the future,” Jordan said. “You can always sell it.”



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