Stewartville referendum breakdown: what the district is doing and what it means for you

Stewartville Referendum Breakdown

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(ABC 6 News) – Children in Stewartville could see a lot of changes inside district schools, but that all depends on if voters check “yes” or “no” on the newest referendum on Nov. 7.

The ballot in Stewartville this year has a price tag of nearly $63 million dollars and consists of two questions.

If people vote yes, the Central Education Center could be replaced with a brand new elementary school, among a few other improvements.

Around $55 million dollars of that money though, centers around the CEC building and whether it is past its lifespan.

“It needs to go. We’re lucky that it is sort of working right now, but it can’t last,” said Teresa Angeli, a parent in the district. “Just the safety of it, the cooling, the heating. There’s so many things that are wrong with it that even if you tried to fix it up, the cost and constant upgrades you would need to happen to keep it going and keep it working for the kids, would be more than what you would get out of a new school.”

That’s a feeling school officials are emphasizing too.

“That’s really the biggest piece of it,” said Will Welch, the clerk on the Stewartville School Board. “We’re past its useful purpose now because operationally there are some challenges.”

However, the future of the CEC building is only one part of the first question.

“The other parts of it are security improvements, classroom updates and a little small expansion to prepare Stewartville students for the future,” said Welch.

The future is the biggest thing on Amber Cooper’s mind, with two small children just getting started in the district.

“It’ll affect their entire upbringing here in this school district. That there will be enhanced safety and that’s really important especially nowadays,” said Cooper. “For me, that’s really the biggest thing is that there’s going to be more security, more safety, the enhancements to their learning and just their overall well being in the school.”

Cooper says the price of the referendum does not bother her as much as it may for other parents.

“I think it would be a small price to pay just having two children, that means a lot to me,” Cooper said.

The second question deals with around $7 million dollars for an activities court for the newly proposed school and more additions for athletics.

That question can only pass if question one passes too.

This comes one year after the districts last referendum when people overwhelmingly voted against a $38 million dollar bond issue.

Some parents say this time is different.

“It has its needs and those needs are not going to go away, you can’t just ignore that,” said Angeli. “You should really take time to read about what they’re asking and why they’re asking and not let the numbers scare you. Really educate yourself and give yourself an educated vote.”

Ballots are being cast on Nov. 7 at the Stewartville Civic Center and City Hall.

For more information on details of the referendum, click here.