The Notus School District will try for the third time in less than a year to persuade voters to pass a bond to replace their nearly 90-year-old elementary school.
The school, which houses about 200 students, has water-stained walls from rain, pipes that must be plugged with foam to keep sewage from backing up on the floors, and a heating system that costs $192 a day to operate during the school year, said Craig Woods, the district’s superintendent.
The new school would hold 300 children and be about 32,000 square feet.
Before going out for a third try, district leaders surveyed the community on what the district needed to do to win support.
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In the past two bond elections, voters balked at the tax burden. The school would cost $4.8 million.
Voters also have questioned how the school will be placed on the land where the old one sits.
The district says its can build the new school for a $19.96 increase in property tax per $100,000 of taxable value. It now plans to reduce the amount it collects in a separate plant-maintenance levy. The total tax burden for the district now is $478 per $100,000 of taxable value. The new burden would be $498.
The district has invited nearby farmers to a lunch next week to go over the plan. “That is where I will have a really good indication of whether they like it or dislike it,” Woods said.
District officials have also decided to locate the new school across the street from its junior-senior high school and use the existing cafeteria building at the elementary site. An earlier plan would have required the district to build a new cafeteria for about $200,000. The savings will be put into the new school, Woods said.
The Notus district’s plan also allows room for development of a new playground for $20,000 to $30,000 that is part of the bond proposal.