NACS gets support for new school

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Northwest Allen County Schools will indeed seek voter approval in a referendum in May to fund the construction of a new elementary school.

The district said Tuesday it had secured the required 500 signatures needed to place the referendum on the May ballot.

Northwest Allen County Schools is considering building a new $31 million elementary school, which would be the district’s eighth. A new school is needed because the district said is has some 500 more students than it did when Eel River Elementary opened in 2009, when half-day kindergarten was an option.

Now, the district said 24 kindergarten classes are necessary – and the need will only grow. Northwest Allen County Schools expects 300-500 more young students in the next 4-6 years.

The referendum will seek $33.98 million in revenue: enough to build the new school and fund improvements needed at 10 other schools. The debt will be repaid over 19 years, the district plans.

If approved, the average resident with a $173,300 home in the district will pay an addition $8.54 per month in property taxes. A resident with a $250,000 home will pay $13.84 a month.

Relief will come soon, though: the district said the debt it incurred from the building of Maple Creek Middle School will come off its books in two years, which will help to minimize the impact.

It’s not clear where a new school would be built.

The district must now craft the question that will appear on the May ballot. It will also be tasked with informing residents in the district as to why a new school is important, officials said.