SCHOOL BOND VOTE IS APRIL 7
By Pam Reinig
The Central School Board has received a petition calling for a bond vote for school improvements. The vote has been scheduled for April 7.
According to Central Superintendent Nick Trenkamp, board policy requires the petition, which must have a number of signatures equal to or greater than 25 percent of those voting in the last school board election. The “magic number” for the petition was 88 signatures, which, Trenkamp said, were easily collected.
The vote will ask for $6 million for improvements that total $6.85 million. Existing funds will cover the balance.
A $6.75 million bond appeal for school improvements was defeated in June 2015. It’s been more than 40 years since large-scale improvements were done to the building.
To educate voters about the need for the bond, the board recently hosted a number of forums in communities served by the school district.
“The board and I learned (from the forums) that the public really appreciated the work the facility committee put into revising the plan and trying to lower the cost,” Trenkamp said. “We also learned they appreciated us giving a chance for them to give feedback before any decisions were made. Everyone fells they have had more of a voice and stronger community effort this time around.”
If approved, money from the bond will be used to make the building 100 percent handicap accessible, improve security at school entrances, improve overall community access to the building, bring the kitchen area into compliance to meet fire and safety standards, and increase and improve academic areas.
A Citizens’ Committee will continue working to educate voters on the need for the bond. The group is using social media (Facebook and the web), visits with business leaders as well as community and church groups, and open houses. Trenkamp also urges interested voters to tour the building for a first-hand look at the challenges students, faculty and staff face.
“If you’re unable to tour, I would also be happy to come and present information to your group,” he added. “We will also have a virtual tour document that show our current reality and our proposed changes available on our website soon.”