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Archive for Thursday, January 7, 1999

PERRY-LECOMPTON SCHOOL BOARD PURSUES BOND ISSUE

January 7, 1999

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The Perry-Lecompton school board will ask voters to approve a $14.86 million bond issue this April for a new high school, five months after voters narrowly rejected a similar measure.

The board approved the bond issue at its meeting Wednesday night on a 5-2 vote.

Voters will decide on the measure on April 6, Supt. Henry Murphy said.

"I think the big thing was that it provided for a new high school," Murphy said of the board's action to move ahead with the bond issue.

Voters on Nov. 3 defeated a $9.1 million bond issue for a new middle school and improvements to existing schools, on a 946-to-817 vote.

Before approving the bond issue, the board on a 5-2 vote decided on one of four options for improving the district's facilities.

That option, which voters will be asked to approve in April, includes construction of a new high school, and use of the current high school for grades six through eight.

Kindergarten through grade five would be held at Lecompton and Perry elementaries, while Williamstown and Grantville schools would be closed, under the plan. Perry Middle School would become a multipurpose building, possibly for a community center, library or district offices, Murphy said.

The board will conduct a series of meetings and hearings on the bond issue, Murphy said.

At a meeting in November following the failed bond issue, residents voiced mixed opinions on whether the district should build more facilities and how fast.

The school board also approved a survey that was mailed to residents. Of 2,400 surveys that were mailed to residents, 389 responses were returned. Copies of the responses were distributed to board members before they voted.

"There certainly are diverse opinions out there in terms of what needs to be done in the future for USD 343," Murphy said in a letter to board members sent with the responses.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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