El Paso Gridley school district holds referendum discussion, talks options for junior high school

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GRIDLEY, Ill.– Parents in the El Paso Gridley (EPG) school district are talking about what’s next for the junior high school. The district is offering voters options dictating how it will move forward to meet state requirements.

“We have to do what’s right for our kids,” said parent, Philip Romersberger. “And what’s going to be the best for their learning and the future.”

In between bells Tuesday, El Paso Gridley Junior High schoolers walk between buildings to get to classes. Superintendent Brian Kurz says it’s a security issue, but there are more parents should know.

“In addition to that, we have part of our junior high that’s not accessible for students with disabilities, which is also a challenge,” said Superintendent Kurz. “Also, a wing that is not able to be used by students at all, because it doesn’t meet fire code.”

To combat these issues, the school is offering two solutions:
A) Make renovations to meet code
B) Build a new school

Neither option would raise taxes.

“We can borrow $6-8 million to fix things up to heath/life safety code, or we could spend $15-20 million and build a new junior high,” said Kurz. “Either way, the tax rate will be the same.”

For parents like Philip Romersberger, who has four boys in the district, he says parents should make an informed decision before voting on the referendum in March.

“Really a no vote is just a bandaid in my opinion, and I think what’s best for our kids is what we should be considering,” said Romersberger.

Even if El Paso Gridley locals don’t have children in the school, they’ll still cast a vote on the referendum.

“Everyone needs to be well educated because this is going to affect every part of the community,” said Katrina Reinhard. “Whether it’s going to be your child, or someone else’s child, or your neighbor, it’s important to be involved in our community because that’s what small towns are all about.”

The referendum will be on March 17.

GRIDLEY, Ill. — The El Paso Gridley (EPG) school district is holding a referendum information night Tuesday on whether to build a new junior high school at the current tax rate or bring the current facility up to code at the current tax rate.

This session will be less than a one-hour explanation of what is on the ballot, what a “yes vote” means, and what a “no vote” means. Childcare will be provided for fourth graders and younger by EPG teachers.

It will be from 6-7 p.m. at Jefferson Park Elementary School.

Some members of the Board of Education and some administrators will be available for individual conversations after the presentation.

The school is currently not ADA compliant. 

The referendum will be on March 17.

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