FWCS’s $130 million referendum passes easily

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Voters resoundingly approved Fort Wayne Community Schools’ $130 million referendum that will fund renovations to many of the district’s buildings.

More than 72 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to the referendum, which won’t raise property taxes but will fund necessary upgrades at 42 of the district’s 51 schools.

That plan calls for major infrastructure jobs – to the tune of $107 million – at 10 schools: Glenwood Park, Lindley, Nebraska, Price, St. Joseph Central, Washington Center and Waynedale elementary schools; Lane and Shawnee middle schools and Northrop High School. Other projects include enhanced security at 25 buildings, fully air conditioning every district school, window and roof replacement and other improvements.

District leaders said the referendum dollars won’t add any extra frills, but rather go toward ensuring students have a comfortable space to learn.

It is the second phase of a long-range district building improvement plan that started with another bond referendum that was approved by voters in 2012. Twenty-six schools were renovated under that plan, which is just wrapping up $2 million under budget.

Phase two projects would begin in 2017 and be finished by 2023, the district said.

Even with voters’ approval of the bond issue, property tax rates will not increase, the district said. Officials said that’s thanks to the timing of the project, and added that the debt repayment will come outside of the property tax caps.

Construction on the projects would start in 2017 and be finished by 2023.

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