Columbus Committee Meets To Discuss Referendum

(Columbus) A newly-formed committee, looking at the possibility of a referendum in Columbus, met for the first time on Monday. The Columbus School District Community Facility Advisory Committee was created by school board action last month. At that same meeting, Bray Architects was hired to update the district’s facilities and capacity study, support the work of the advisory committee and perform master planning services. The committee’s two dozen members – from various community stakeholder groups – are tasked with reviewing information on facility needs and financial data to make a recommendation to the school board on how to best formulate and implement a plan to address facility needs.

The most recent referendum in Columbus in 2014 failed. Two years later, the district, with help from over 100 residents, began their Launching A New Legacy strategic plan which outlines the district’s vision through 2030. That plan features six priorities, including facilities. A survey sent out late last year indicated that the community wanted more information on district data before moving forward. Columbus School Board President Cindy Damm says they learned from previous work that for a referendum to be successful it would have to come from the community, as opposed to the administration or school board.

Representatives with Bray Architects will present an updated facilities study to the school board during their 7pm meeting on Monday at City Hall. The next meeting of the Facility Advisory Committee is on Monday, April 15 at 6:30pm at the Columbus Elementary School library. The agenda includes discussions on district enrollment projections, review of elementary school needs and a tour of the building. There are a dozen meetings planned in coming months with the committee expected to make a recommendation on a possible facilities referendum to the school board on July 22.