The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 15, 2013

Northeast preps for referendum

Special election for additions to high school set

GOOSE LAKE — Northeast School District residents will have the chance to vote on a $7.5 million bond to provide additions to Northeast High School.

The Northeast School Board received 239 signatures for a petition to get the referendum put on special election ballots on April 2.

“This addition will be used greatly and provide additional learning opportunities,” Superintendent Jim Cox said.

The proposed $7.5-million gymnasium and science addition would include four science labs, offices, a 1,500-seat gym and concession area and a fitness area. Current science rooms do not offer an adequate amount of space to really enhance learning, Cox said.

“Our present science rooms are small and we want to be able to offer more hands on experience,” Cox said.

Enhancements would be made to the existing weight room to provide a fitness center accessible to not only students but also community members. The 41,000-square-foot addition also would require relocating the baseball field and could add parking lots to the campus.

The general obligation bonds from the elementary school will be paid off in the spring of 2014, allowing for the district to continue levying in order to bond for the addition if a referendum is approved by 60 percent of voters during a special referendum. To provide additional funds, the board also adopted an additional question to be added to the ballot regarding a possible 34-cent increase to Physical Plant and Equipment Property Tax.

The new PPEL along with the bond issue would not raise taxes, Cox said. In fact, the bond rate of $2.87 is actually a cost savings down 35 cents from the current rate.

Voters will get the chance to learn more about the project and get any questions answered on March 20, when the board holds a meeting with the architect and bonding company.

The board also will hold an additional meeting with the architect on March 27 to discuss the project further and provide information to the public.

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