Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1110445

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Auditorium meetings slated

By Xiomara Levsen | Feb 03, 2014

The Washington High School (WHS) new auditorium committee will be holding a series of public meetings this month about the auditorium project.
According Jan Gallagher, new auditorium co-chair person, the committee has raised $4.6 million in pledges and donations for the new auditorium. However, one grant they had applied for in December wasn’t awarded to them, so they will ask for a bond referendum of $1.1 million. The $1.1 million would help complete the project and give the committee leverage for a Vision Iowa grant.
The purpose for holding the public meetings is to get the information out to the public, Gallagher said.
“In order to comply with bond referendum rules we are limited in what we can do in other inexpensive ways to reach parents, students, and other school patrons to provide them with information,” she said. “We would really like students to know what we are proposing and why—we would like their input. We can’t just go to school and talk with them.”
All of the meetings will be held at the Washington Free Public Library in the Nicola-Stoufer room. They will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m; Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m; and the final public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
“We will provide a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation and give some information about possible impact on taxes, which fortunately would be very small,” Gallagher said.
After the presentation there will be time for question-and-answer sessions from the attendees, Gallagher said.
A petition for having a bond vote hasn’t been presented to the school district yet.
“We anticipate that happening at February’s school board meeting,” Washington Community School District superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen said. “Then, the bond vote would be held on April 1.”
If the bond were passed the school board would have to look a two different options for the payout. One would be a 20-cent increase per $1,000 over a 20-year period, Jorgensen said. The other one would be a 40-cent increase per $1,000 over a six-year payout.
The school district’s budget hasn’t been set for the 2014-15 school year, Joregensen said. He expects the current tax levy to decrease but won’t know for sure until Feb. 18, when the budget is set. If the bond vote passes the 20 to 40 cents per $1,000 increment on taxes would be very small, Jorgensen said.

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