West Clark starts conversation with taxpayers about new referend - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

West Clark starts conversation with taxpayers about new referendum

Soon, West Clark Community Schools will be asking their taxpayers for its support. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Soon, West Clark Community Schools will be asking their taxpayers for its support. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

SELLERSBURG, IN (WAVE) - Indiana school districts rely on referendums to get budgets approved to make certain improvements, renovations and build or tear down schools.

New Albany Floyd County and Greater Clark County schools have both failed at attempting to get voters on board during recent elections. 

Soon, West Clark Community Schools will be asking their taxpayers for its support. 

District leaders said the first step is to gather as much information as they can, that's why they are meeting with members of the community now through Thursday, wanting to start an open and honest dialogue.

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West Clark Community Schools Superintendent Chad Schenck said he hopes transparency will be the key to getting voters to approve an upcoming referendum. 

"We have prided ourselves over the past 25-30 years to be very conservative in this district and we have a very good track record of doing that, our staff and our students work within a very tight budget and we still have excellent schools where people want to send their students," Schenck said. 

He said there comes a point, when schools must be updated. That's why the school board brought in an outside agency to observe and study each school in the district. A big focus will be on Silver Creek High School, a building that has gone through minimal renovations and expansion since it was built in 1962. Student size has nearly doubled since then. 

While building a new high school may sound ideal, Schenck said he wants to be realistic and focus on fixing roofing problems and overcrowding concerns. 

"I feel like we are going to address those needs, if those needs point to a brand new high school, I think we are going to have to be very guarded on what's the other option, what can we do that will lead to an expansive and renovation," Schenk said. 

Schenck said he wants the referendum to include improvements at every school. Security improvements are needed as well as heating and air issues. Not one gym has air conditioning at any school across the district. 

"We certainly think there are things that need to be addressed at every one of our campuses, at every one of our schools, so there's a piece in this project that every school will see," Schenk said. 

Schenck said they don't have a budget in mind yet or know if that will come with a tax increase. That's why the first step is to sit down with the community and go from there. 

"We have been systematic and we are going very slow and we are going to listen and that's what these upcoming meetings are about," Schenk said. 

This issue would go to the voters in November. 

The first meeting was held at Henryville High School on Tuesday. Wednesday the meeting will take place at Borden High School from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday at Silver Creek High School from 6 to 7 p.m.

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