181031_EVREF01

Students walk through a hallway at JC McKenna Middle School in Evansville.

EVANSVILLE

The Evansville School Board will float two referendum questions Tuesday, one of which will seek money for a new middle school.

Voters will decide the fate of a $34 million capital referendum and a $1.2 million operational referendum.

The capital referendum, if approved, would increase a homeowner’s annual tax bill $15 per $100,000 of property value. The referendum would be paid off over 20 years.

Projects covered by the facilities referendum include:

  • Demolishing and rebuilding JC McKenna Middle School, $24.8 million.
  • Replacing part of the roof at Evansville High School, $620,000.
  • Improving security at the Grove Campus, $2.3 million.
  • Improving infrastructure at the Grove Campus, $3.18 million.
  • Updating the technical education classrooms and engineering labs at the high school, $3.1 million.

The operational referendum would hike school taxes by $9 per $100,000 of property value in each of the next five years.

District voters approved two operational referendums in 2014, but they will expire in 2019.

Voters must approve another operational referendum to maintain current programs and services, according to a district referendum presentation.

An operational referendum will allow the district to maintain class sizes, continue covering college and advanced placement courses, invest in textbook and curriculum upgrades, and attract and retain staff.

If both referendums pass, tax bills in 2019 would increase $24 per $100,000 of property value each year for two years, District Administrator Jerry Roth told The Gazette.

If both referendums pass, taxpayers would see a decrease in their tax bills in 2021 because the district will finish paying off debt from Evansville High School’s construction, Roth said.

A $25.5 million referendum in 2000 helped finance the high school project.

So in 2021, residents would see their tax bills drop by $88 per $100,000 of property value, Roth said. If both referendum pass, residents would see a $64 decrease per $100,000 from what they are paying now.

Projects funded by the current capital referendum were recommended by the district’s citizens advisory committee, a 35-member panel of residents and district and city staff members.

The committee analyzed results from a community survey, which showed people would support both referendums at their respective costs.

Reporter - Milton, Edgerton, Albany, Brodhead, Evansville, Footville, Orfordville, health

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