Friday, December 19, 2014

Goshen Schools’ public question gets OK from election board

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 1:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Election Board met Tuesday morning, July 16, to preliminarily approve the language for the Goshen Community Schools’ construction and remodeling question that could end up on the November ballot.

The Goshen School Board chose last month to continue pursuing a referendum vote on the ballot later this year that would fund remodeling projects at the high school and middle school, as well as new construction that would include a pool.

The projects were originally slated to be voted on in conjunction with the Goshen Community Center, but after the group behind the Community Center withdrew its support for the city’s referendum, the schools decided to continue their efforts on their own project.

School officials have continually stated the need for more space, especially for the music program, as well as a desire to construct a pool to replace the pool facility at Goshen Middle School.

Funding could also help replace the high school’s baseball diamond, which may be moved as a result of the U.S. 33 relocation project.

The question on the ballot would request up to $17.15 million, said Diane Woodworth, superintendent of Goshen Community Schools. Cost to hold the election would likely fall in the $50,000 to $60,000 range, said Wendy Hudson, clerk of the county court.

The meeting Tuesday was simply the next step in getting the referendum question onto the Nov. 5 ballot.

The Election Board considered the language of the question presented by the schools, and on its preliminary approval, will relay the question on to the Department of Local Government Finance, along with any suggested changes the board requested.

The DLGF will consider the language and changes and, once approved, will return the question’s language to the Election Board.

The election board will then have another meeting to finalize the language and give final approval to the question. Hudson hopes the DLGF will return the question to the election board soon so it may meet again on July 25 to complete the process.

For the referendum question to be placed on November’s ballot, Hudson said all the subsequent steps must be completed by Aug. 1.

The school corporation is still deliberating on whether the new pool would be at the high school or middle school. Woodworth did say that if the referendum passes, the entire project would take 1 1/2 to two years, setting a completion date for summer or fall 2015.