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

EVANSVILLE

The Evansville School District will begin planning construction projects in coming weeks after two referendum questions passed Tuesday.

Voters approved a $34 million capital referendum and a $1.2 million operational referendum Tuesday with both questions passing with more than 60 percent of the votes.

Most of the capital referendum will go toward tearing down the nearly 100-year-old JC McKenna Middle School and building a new school on the land.

Projects covered by the capital 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.

District Administrator Jerry Roth said construction will likely begin this summer.

Middle school students will be moved to the south end of JC McKenna while the north end is demolished, Roth said. That will likely begin during the 2019-20 school year.

Tax bills in 2019 will increase $24 per $100,000 of property value each year for two years with the passing of both referendum questions, Roth said.

Taxpayers will 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.

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

The 2018 capital referendum will be paid off in 20 years. The operational referendum will increase the district’s spending each of the next five years.

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.

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