More facts for ECP school issue

With another big school issue on the ballot voters in the Elmore City-Pernell district might just want a few more details before they go to the polls next month.

For school officials like Superintendent Jennifer Cruz it's about the facts, specifically getting more of them out to residents as a series of public meetings have been scheduled.

The first of three bond election information meetings comes in a few days with two more the week before the Sept. 10 election.

“We want to be able to give our constituents an opportunity to come ask these experts questions about the bond issue,” Cruz tells the PV Democrat.

“There will be a bondsman, an architect and a construction manager.

“There are a lot of things being said out there that aren't true. We just want to get the facts out there.”

Financial consultant J.C. Leonard is the guest for the first meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 in the high school gym.

Leonard will be there to present information and answer questions about the bonds and financing for an issue that has two propositions totaling nearly $19.5 million in a series over 18 years. It includes a 13 ½ percent property tax increase.

The gym is also the setting for the other two public meetings – one with architect Nic Taylor at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 and another with construction manager Michael Barnes of MacHill Construction at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.

Not in dispute is what's on the election ballot – two separate propositions that have a variety of upgrades to the ECP district with the biggest one of them all being a brand new high school building.

This past March a bond issue for ECP voters fell only a handful of votes short of the 60 percent margin needed for passage.

In the aftermath ECP school officials sought out even more opinions from local residents, which Cruz says helped lead to a few changes for this new issue.

“The difference is about $600,000,” she said.

“We added two classrooms, band instruments, which are about 30 or 40 years old, and a parking lot because of the feedback we got.

“We also splitting the issue up because of their feedback.”

One proposition calls for a new 12-classroom high school building and improved security at the elementary entrances, along with a paved parking lot there. It totals more than $8.1 million and includes a tax increase of 5 percent.

The second proposition includes a new gymnasium and improvements to the Badger football field, locker rooms and weight room, along with upgrades to the ECP ag barn and acquisition of new band instruments.

It totals more than $11.3 million with an 8 ½ percent tax increase.

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