Voters will have their say Tuesday on the future of facilities at Scribner-Snyder Community Schools.
That’s the day voters within the district will choose if they want to use a bond issue to pay for the building of a new junior high/high school building or continue using the current school that was built in 1923.
Voters actually will weigh two proposals on Tuesday’s ballot.
The first will be to decide if they are in favor of the new building. The second question will be whether to include a gymnasium with the new building.
The maximum cost of the new building, including demolition of the existing building, is projected to be nearly $7.5 million. The proposed maximum cost of the new building and gymnasium would be $8.99 million.
The district’s school board voted to proceed with the bond election for a new building because it was determined renovating the current structure would have cost more than $10 million, superintendent Ginger Meyer said.
If both parts of the bond issue pass, the annual tax levy required would be 21.4 cents. Meyer, though, said the district currently levies 6 cents in a special building fund, which would make the net levy increase 15.4 cents. That would equate to $154 a year on a home with an assessed value of $100,000.
Meyer said the primary reason for the bond issue is to help the school become compliant with fire code and handicap accessibility issues.
The state fire marshal has told the district that it has to have plans in place by 2014 for the current building, meaning things like classrooms that only have one exit and sets of stairs that are too close together would need to be addressed.
“I know people say a building doesn’t make a good education, and I agree with that,” Meyer said. “Good teachers make a good education. But as a parent, I want to know that my children are going to be safe going into those classrooms. ... It’s life safety issues, basically.”
The current building is grandfathered in for a lot of issues, especially with the Americans with Disablities Act. That, though, changes once renovations are made, Meyer said.
“Once you start cutting into that building, all of that goes away,” she said. “When you start cutting into that building, you have to do all of those things.”
The proposed new single-story building would have 13 instructional classrooms and also offers flexibility as to where to put things like band and vocal music and the school library, Meyer said.
The new building, while complying with current codes and regulations, will be very basic, Meyer said.
“We told (the construction company) we don’t need the bells and whistles to give education,” she said. “We want low maintenance so it’s easy to keep clean and not have all the frills.”
Meyer said technology currently used at the school, such as interactive projectors and Smart Boards, would be moved to the new building.
Residents successfully blocked a merger with West Point-Beemer in 2010 and several new members were elected to the school board with the idea of keeping the school in place.
Even if the bond issue fails on Tuesday, Meyer said the school isn’t going anywhere.
“We’re not closing,” she said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board and figure something out.”