Voters in the U.S.D. 375 school distrcit approved a mulit-million dollar bond issue for a new high school. The measure passed by more than 500 votes.
The original high school was built in 1962. Since then, the student population in the district has tripled. Superintendent Jim Keller says, "We would build out around the existing building with the new additions. That way we wouldn't be disrupting the students flow during the day. During the construction period, we'll still be able to use our existing building."
Teresa Pendergrass voted yes on the issue. She says, "I voted for it because I think the children need it and those are our future citizens, they are our citizens, but they will be the future of our country." But not everyone was for it. Latisha Hughes says, "They could definitely be spending millions on something a lot better."
Some customers at her gas station thought the plan needed some changes. Hughes says, "Quite a few people that I've heard are against it because they're taking out the middle part of the high school." Circle High School will lose its trademark dome, but it will gain a new amphitheater to maintain the "circle" tradition. Keller says, "We can have performances, we can have pep rallies, students will have access to the outside."
District leaders say it is more cost effective to rebuild than to renovate, and with interest rates at a 50 year low, they wanted to act fast. Keller says, "I think we'll be able to get more building for less money."
Homeowners in the district can expect to pay about $6.60 more a month in taxes per $100,000 of home value. The bond also pays for updates at Oil Hill Elementary and new air conditioning at two other schools. The votes will be certified Monday.