Sound "no" to Clinton schools referendum
CLINTON SCHOOL DISTRICT
$9.63 million referendum
CLINTON The message was loud and clear this time.
Voters in the Clinton School District do not want an expansion or upgrades in the district’s three schools.
Residents shot down a $9.63 million referendum 968-576. The district wanted to upgrade facilities, particularly at the elementary school.
The results are a huge change from November when the referendum failed by only 28 votes.
“We’ve lost a tremendous amount of ground in three months,” school board member Ken Luety said. “We just got blown out of the water.”
The board will meet to discuss the results but will not be in a rush to come back to voters with a new plan, Luety said.
“We’ll have to reassess and see how long we can keep putting Band-Aids on our heating units,” Luety said.
A committee of residents and school officials studied the issue for two years before recommending the referendum last year.
Plans included upgrading the elementary school’s aging boiler and air exchange systems with geothermal heating and cooling, improving the school’s parking lot safety for student drop-off and pick-up and expanding some classroom space.
The district planned security upgrades at the elementary, middle and high schools.
Volunteers worked hard to educate residents about the district’s needs, Administrator Pam Kiefert said. But with the economy in the shape it’s in, it’s understandable that residents turned the project down, she said.
“We’re all in the same boat with understanding that,” Kiefert said.
Kiefert agreed with Luety that the district will not rush to bring another project to voters.
“There isn’t anything forthcoming,” Kiefert said. “Our job now is to stay vigilant and make sure our facilities are workable for the kids and for the business we’re in.”