LAUREL — Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School District patrons have rejected a $23 million bond proposal to renovate current school facilities.
The issue failed by a mere 50 votes with 787 people voting against the proposal and 737 voting in favor. The vote was put in front of the people as the end result of a threeyear strategic facility improvement plan by the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School Board.
The $23 million bond proposal would have funded the demolition of the 1922 building, renovating the current elementary building and building new classroom space for the high school.
The project would have featured around 50,000 square feet of new construction and 27,000 feet of renovation that would set the Laurel campus up for the future.
The current high school building is nearing 100 years old and is the source of much of the district’s recent expenses when it comes to infrastructure issues, Supt. Jeremy Christensen said.
“The board was looking at where they are putting resources and where they are spending money on facilities, and what we saw was that we were putting a lot of money into the high school buildings — not just for cosmetic things, but for core infrastructure issues,” Christiansen said.
It’s a regular occurrence, the superintendent said, for something to come up in the high school building, whether it’s heating and air conditioning units not working to gas leaks to a roof that can’t keep rain from coming into the building.
“Almost every day, we’ve got water leaking somewhere,” Christiansen said. “It’s not that it hasn’t been maintained. It’s just that it’s reaching its age limits in some areas. The 1922 building has served its purpose, Christiansen added, but there’s a lot of space there now that can’t be effectively used for student learning because we can’t maintain the temperature.”
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