Simplified: Voters in the Lennox School District gave resounding support to a plan to spend about $17.3 million on an expansion to the junior high and high school building. Here's what you need to know.
Why it matters
- This isn't the first time Lennox's high school building has been expanded since it was first built 20 years ago. In 2014, a junior high wing was added to make space for an additional 200 students.
- Lennox has added 119 more students since then, and while there's still enough classroom space, shared spaces like the gym, cafeteria and weight room are at capacity.
- The bond to fund the addition passed with 74% of the vote. The district will use that money to add an auxiliary gym, a larger weight room, two additional varsity locker rooms, a 900-seat performing arts center and a new activities lobby.
"I suspect to some degree, folks reflect on the school community's facilities, course offerings and academic programming when deciding where to live," Superintendent Chad Conaway said in a presentation outlining the bond. "This is just another piece that helps our school system and community stay relevant with those around us."
What was the voter turnout?
Just shy of 15% of the more than 4,100 voters in the Lennox School District cast a ballot on Tuesday.
- That means a total of 623 votes total.
What will the addition mean for students?
Here are some of the highlights Conaway shared in a video describing the project:
- Right now, the school district has six different lunch periods because existing lunchroom seating is limited to 200 (with nearly 550 kids in the building). The addition will bring room for another 119 seats.
- The addition of an auxiliary gym means sports teams won't have to cancel practices due to a lack of gym space, and different levels of sports will have their own space to practice.
- The performing arts center would add a theater with 900 seats, and it'd free up space in the current "cafetorium" (cafeteria + auditorium).
- The new weight room will be close to 4,000 square feet, giving students the space needed for a more comprehensive training program.
- The activities lobby will connect the new addition to the existing building, add restrooms, a new concession stand and a connecting hallway to the fine arts wing.
What will the bond mean for taxpayers?
Lennox area taxpayers won't see their bond levy increase, but taxes will go up.
- That's largely because the existing bond (passed in 2003 to fund the high school) will be paid in full in July. The new bond will be paid off over the next 25 years.
In practice, that means a home with an assessed value of $300,000 will pay $303 per year. That same home would've paid $147 this year.
- It's worth noting that as Lennox grows, the tax levy – i.e. how much each person pays each year – will go down.
What happens next?
The hope is to bid the project around December with construction set to start in the spring of 2024. The new addition is slated to open in the spring of 2025.