Charles City High School Repairs, Auditorium, or Both?
The debate over how to approach upgrades, improvements and additions to Charles City High School continues.
A school district petition drive to get a special election for a $27 million bond referendum before voters failed earlier this year. In its prior form, the bond would’ve paid for improvements to the High School building, which hasn’t had any major work since it was built in 1960. A third of the money was targeted for the addition of an 800-seat performing arts auditorium.
During their regular meeting this week, Charles City School Board members again discussed how to approach the facility’s needs and whether to split bond referendums, one for the auditorium and another for the basic improvements. School District Finance Director Evan Marten cautioned that splitting the projects into separate measures would limit how money could be spent, whereas a combined bond referendum allows flexibility to move funds from one project to the other if needed.
Regardless of the eventual approach, Superintendent Dr. Anne Lundquist says costs have already gone up for the work they need to do.
And while a new auditorium would be the more recognizable “shiny” addition to the High School, Lundquist says there’s also no denying the physical needs of the 63-year-old building.
The Board made no decision on what form the next bond referendum would take, but the general consensus is to get a measure before voters in the school district by this September or November.