The Jamestown Public School Board approved Monday preparing the paperwork for a referendum aimed for a special election in September or October, proposing to increase the mill levy to double the district's building fund. The motion passed 8-1.
"Our public is very aware of our district's needs," said Superintendent Robert Lech. "This allows us to prioritize the bigger projects."
The referendum, if approved by the school board, would be due Oct. 10 to be voted on either during as a special election this fall or during the primary election in June of next year. The proposal would double the district's building fund from 10 mills to 20, or an additional $718,000 per year.
"It's important to quantify our needs," Lech said. "We will have to start putting off projects that need to be done."
The funds could be used for renovating current facilities as well as constructing new buildings, Lech said. Improvements the district would use the funds raised for include boiler replacements, roof repairs, kitchen upgrades, science classroom updates and maintenance on fire safety systems.
"We don't want to be kicking the can down the road, or it'll come back to bite you," Lech said. "We can't put our kids in that situation."
Lech said the school board requires $2.1 million annually to follow the capital project plan, a schedule created in 2016 by the board to ensure proper renovations continued. Sixty percent of the $2.1 million is for building repairs, while 26 percent, or $560,000, is needed for roof replacements.
"This is not the solution," Lech said. "This is a part of the solution."
If put to a vote, the referendum would require 60 percent approval in order to pass. If the board is unable to prepare the referendum by the Oct. 10 deadline, it would have to wait until the following fiscal year.
"We are just trying to give the children of our community the best facilities we can," said board member Greg Allen. "Perception of this is important."
Board member Melissa Gleason was the only member to vote no.
During the meeting, Jennifer Schmidt was elected the new president of the school board, replacing Roger Haut, who still remains on the board.
The school board will meet again at 5:15 Monday, Aug. 19, in the Thompson Community Room in the middle school.