El Paso-Gridley District Asking for Building Bond Extension on March Ballot

Published 02/21 2014 02:02PM

Updated 02/21 2014 09:35PM

GRIDLEY – It’s a trying time for many area schools. Schools are facing more requirements from the state, but have less money to meet them. That’s why the El Paso-Gridley School District is asking its taxpayers to vote yes on March 18.


The EPG Junior High School is 108 years old, and showing its age. Leaky pipes is just one issue on a long list. Superintendent Mike Lindy said, “We have a lot of health, life, safety requirements we have to address and then a lot of recommended things."


That’s why the district is asking voters to approve an extension to its current building bond. Lindy said the $18.25 million plan will help build a new junior high and fix up the other schools in the district. Taxpayers won’t have to pick up the cost. “Our tax rate will not increase as a result of these bonds. We'll maintain a flat tax rate,” said Lindy.


A big concern is the school’s stairs. Not only is it difficult for students with disabilities, but any students that are learning on the third floor have to go all the way down to the basement in order to use the bathroom."


Eighth grade teacher Stephanie Matzke said, "It's really difficult to educate kids when comfort, their comfort level is not being met."


She said her classroom has its own problems, but her biggest concern is the walk students have to take outside to get to certain classes.


Matzke said, “This has been an exceptionally cold winter and I feel so bad for them to have to trace out in the windy blizzard and the ice and it's just not safe."


Staff agrees the outdated building isn’t efficient for education, and they’re hoping voters will understand. Lindy said, “We're not looking at building lavish facilities, we're just looking at having an adequate and healthy environment for our students to learn in."


If the referendum is passed, the money goes into a capital development fund, meaning it can only be used for facility improvements.

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