Columbia Schools Get $60 million; Library Loses

1 decade 1 year 1 month ago Wednesday, April 04 2007 Apr 4, 2007 Wednesday, April 04, 2007 6:19:57 AM CDT April 04, 2007 in News

The measure passed 76% to 24%. 

The $60 million raised will go toward building new schools and improving the conditions in older buildings.

The district doesn't have enough space for all its students.

Voters knew that when they came out to vote.

"They are vitally interested in what's happening to their children, so of course they'd be coming to vote. And a lot of the ones who have grandchildren are just as interested," said Boone County polling judge Laura Jost.

One third of the district's buildings are exceeding capacity. Trailers at West Junior High are a perfect example of overcrowding in Columbia schools.

With the new bond, the district plans on reducing the overcrowding by building more places to accommodate the students.

The new $60 million dollar will pay for a new high school, a new elementary school and improve the existing conditions for current students by repairing damaged ceilings, and installing air conditioners.

"The school district is an asset to this community, and through this vote, the community has spoken to us," said Columbia School district assistant superintendent Lynn Barnett.

And the best part about the bond is it won't cost tax payers any more than they're already paying.

The bond money will extend the district's payments for another five years. -The district plans to/planned to make the improvements in phases.

Officials expect to ask for two more $60 million grants in upcoming years.

Not so lucky are supporters of a measure to raise the library tax to build new branches in Ashland and north Columbia.  Voters turned down that proposal by a nearly three to one margin.

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