Columbus School District Officials Detail Referendum

(Columbus) The school funding referendum in Columbus was detailed recently on WBEV’s Community Comment. In January, the school board adopted a resolution seeking to authorize general obligation bonds not to exceed $30-million.

If approved, the funding would address renovating the high school’s cafeteria as well as the shop classes, art and special education. Work would also include renovating the bathrooms and upgrades to the library as well as the replacement of the second floor bleachers. At the elementary school there would be a two-story classroom addition, secure entrances, a two-court gymnasium addition, new playground areas as well as renovations to classrooms, library and music rooms. District officials says enrollment at the elementary school has increased by 17-percent and will continue to grow creating a space shortage. They add that many classrooms at the high school lack flexibility needed for hands-on teaching and learning. The district would also look to acquire land for future development of a school or outdoor athletic and recreation spaces.

School Board Member and former Columbus High School educator Mike O’Brien says additional classrooms is an immediate need for the elementary school. District Superintendent Annette Deuman says this referendum is a community-led solution that stemmed from a community-led process. She says the district has and will continue to involve and listen to the community.

If approved, the mill rate would increase by $1.62 meaning a homeowner with a property of value of $100-thousand-dollars would pay $162 more per year.