By Connor Beach
Voters within the Elwood School District approved Proposition 1, a $34.5 million bond proposal for districtwide improvements, but defeated Proposition 2, a $3.56 million proposal which included building a turf field at John H. Glenn High School, by a slim margin on Tuesday.
Proposition 1 passed, 781-371, while Proposition 2 was defeated, 577-508. Voters had the option of not voting on the second proposition.
“We are very appreciative that the community showed support for the priorities we put forward,” said Elwood Superintendent Kenneth Bossert. He added that the results show that the community puts a high priority on the educational process.
District officials have estimated the cost of Proposition 1 is around a $221 per year increase, or $18.42 per month, to the average taxpayer.
The approved districtwide improvements include new roofing at each of the district’s four school buildings and added air-conditioning.
Bossert placed particular emphasis on the new roofing, which will cost approximately $11 million.
“It’s the first priority,” he said. “We will address that with the state so that it’s the work we will target to do first.”
Along with a turf field for the high school, the defeated Proposition 2 had also called for upgrades to the school’s other athletic facilities.
Bossert, along with the school board and other district officials, moved early last month to separate the proposals into two different propositions, instead of presenting them together as a single, $38.14 million bond proposal on the ballot.
The move was made, Bossert said, in part due to a split response from community members during presentations.
“I think that the results of Proposition 2 reflected the initial survey that the district conducted, which demonstrated that it was a near 50-50 split within the community,” Bossert said. “That is why the board elected to keep it as a separate proposition.”
Now that the bond has been approved, Bossert asked residents to be patient. The district now has to submit their plans to the state building department for approval, a process that Bossert said could take anywhere from a year to 18 months.