USD 336 voters to vote on new elementary school

Holton voters will head to the polls tomorrow to make a multi-million dollar decision.

They’ll be voting if the district will move ahead to build a new elementary school.

Kansas first news reporter Vanessa Martinas explains what some parents think about the $21.5 million bond issue.

“Buildings don’t educate students..teachers do,” Gina Sistanich said.

Joni Carlsen has two children in Holton elementary schools.

She’s says on Tuesday she’s voting yes on a nearly $22 million bond issue.

“The size of this community has grown enough that the children are tight in their classrooms, we do need more space, we need gyms, we need parking a better parking situation,” Carlsen said.

Gina Sistanich will have a child in the district in the next couple years.

She says she has every intention to vote no.

“I’m totally against this, I’m voting, I’m getting up and going to probably be at the ballot at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Sistanich said.

If passed, the bond will replace both Colorado and Central Elementary Schools.

That will consolidate both schools into one larger building.

The state will pay for a little more than half of construction costs.

Taxpayers will have to make up the rest.

“I think there is a lot of people in the community that are concerned about the property taxes, I think that some people that do not have children in the community will vote no for that reason,” Carlsen said.

Holton residents would see an increase in their property tax for the next 25 years.

For a home that is worth $100,000 that would mean an increase of $161 a year.

School officials say the students really do need more space.

“The needs of education and changes in laws and the kinds of services that we provide changed over the years and so we’re finding that in order to provide all these services we’re running out of room,” Assistant Principal to both schools Joseph Kelly said.

Right now both schools are so crammed that the cafeteria is also being used as a gym, the auditorium and the music room.

The principal of both elementary schools says parent teacher conferences are held in the boiler room because they don’t have any where else to go.

School officials say if the bond passes no jobs will be cut in the elementary schools.

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