The question will be put to voters during a special election March 12.
Plans show more than 60 percent of the money would be spent on improvements at Riverfront Middle School, and the single most expensive component would be interior renovations, such as improvements to the gym, auditorium and hallways and the addition of five classrooms.
Of the $24.1 million, local taxpayers would be responsible for about 63 percent; the remaining funding would come from the state.
It’s critical the district pursue funding now, school board members said in a fact sheet about the referendum.
“Construction costs and interest rates are near historic lows and we can take advantage of that now by supporting the facilities improvements program,” the board said.
Ballot language is not yet available.
However, the school district has specified voters will be asked to approve two measures.
The first — and significantly larger — measure, would raise $21.6 million to fund the district’s most critical projects. The second — about $2.1 million — includes important but not as critical projects, mostly related to recreation and athletic facilities, according to the district.
Should the first question fail, the second would also fail, automatically; however, should the first question pass and the second fail, the first measure would continue.
The district’s proposed safety improvements have received support from the Florence Township Police Department, Chief Brian Boldizar said in a letter to Superintendent Donna Ambrosius.
Police were particularly pleased to see the addition of security vestibules at the elementary and middle schools, according to Boldizar.
“The current entrance ways expose the students to potential unwanted persons,” Boldizar said earlier this month in the letter to Ambrosius. “It appears from the new plans that these concerns have been addressed.”
Last year the district operated on a $30.4 million budget and paid about $2.5 million in debt service, according to school district documents.
As of October, 1,630 full-time regular and special education students were enrolled in the district.