Community reacts to $44.5 million for Byron Schools

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(ABC 6 News) – The third time’s the charm in Byron. On Tuesday people voted to increase property taxes and give the school district over $44 million for improvements.

The referendum is two questions, and question one is contingent on question two. Question one asks voters to approve $23 million for repairs and additional classroom space. Over 60% voted yes.

Question two asks voters for an additional $21 million for an auditorium and upgrades to the athletic fields. This race is a little closer with just over 50% voting yes.

Taxpayers previously voted no, but Superintendent Mike Neubeck said that doesn’t mean their problem of aging buildings has gone away. He’s grateful for the community support.

"I don’t think people really understood what the needs were in our buildings. I’m also very fortunate that we do have such a supportive community," Neubeck said.

Neubeck believes the district’s work with the community got them the yes vote this third time around. The district offered tours of the facilities, and voter Adam Wall said that’s part of why he voted yes. Wall has two children that will be entering Byron schools in the next couple of years.

"It needs some work. The kitchen is nasty and the woodshop is so old they can’t even have a woodshop. I just want them to get the best out of their education," Wall said.

This is a smaller ask than the district’s first request back in 2020, but more than their most recent request back in May.