I would like to comment on the upcoming referendum that will be placed on the Tuesday, May 5, primary election that requires voter approval for Warsaw Community Schools to finance facility construction, renovation and improvements.
As a former member of the Board of School Trustees of WCS, having served 16 years in the Indiana General Assembly retiring from the Senate and currently serving as clerk treasurer of the Town of Winona Lake, I feel it imperative to ask all respective patrons and resident owners in the WCS district to study and review closely their vote as it affects each one of us and our community’s future.
Due to changes in the State school funding formula, schools in Indiana that need to be constructed, renovated or improvements made are required by statute this question must be placed on the local ballot for the public to decide by a vote for or against. This is as it should be without question.
“Shall Warsaw Community Schools issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the construction of a replacement Lincoln Elementary School, the renovation of and improvements to the Washington Elementary School and the Edgewood Middle School, which is estimated to cost not more than $39,000,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by a maximum of $0.138 per $100 of assessed valuation over the 20 year life of the bonds?”
I have been in each of the aforementioned school facilities seeing first hand their present condition and the serious health and safety conditions which do indeed require being addressed. And when it costs less to build new than renovate, as is the case with Lincoln Elementary School, what is the responsible cost effective decision with the serious health and safety conditions present in these three buildings?
Personally, I am proud to have been a part over the years in the various roles of one of the leading and future ready school corporations in the State and our Nation. I am confident and endorse the WCS Board of School Trustees diligence to make tough decisions that are transparent and in the best interests of every student, staff member and community stakeholder in our WCS district.
I will vote “Yes” as this is the fiscal responsible position to make and is fundamental in building our community and our future.
Thank you for your consideration in casting your vote on Tuesday, May 5.