Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 6, 2013

GCS voters say 'Yes' to $17.15M referendum

$17.15M renovations project referendum easily passes

GOSHEN — It was an outcome worthy of a high-five.

And that is just what Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Diane Woodworth and GCS board president Jane Troup did after the final numbers were tallied Tuesday.

After months of research and community debate, voters within the Goshen Community School Corp. boundaries Tuesday approved a $17.15 million construction project that school officials say will provide “for quality programs for the next 20 years.”

Polls for the special referendum closed at 6 p.m. at 12 locations representing 21 precincts in Elkhart Township. The school construction project was the only question on Tuesday’s ballot. It read:

“Shall Goshen Community Schools issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the renovation of and construction of improvements to Goshen Middle School and Goshen High School, which includes site improvements, which is estimated to cost not more than $17,150,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by a maximum of $.1098 per $100 of assessed valuation over the 20-year life of the bonds?”

The measure passed by a vote of 2,099 to 1,341.

Goshen’s was only one of four referendums around the state that passed Tuesday night. A $28M renovation project was defeated in Mishawaka 2,808 votes to 1,321 votes. A referendum on the transportation program in Muncie failed as did a budget shortfall referendum in Michigan City.

“I was optimistically hopeful and now the work really begins,” Woodworth said minutes after the final vote count was tallied. “The teachers will be thrilled. I want to thank the community for their vote of affirmation for the students and teachers. I want to thank the PAC (Say Yes Goshen Political Action Committee) group, they were just fantastic. With the new referendum laws, the PAC had to do the promoting. Steve Norton did a great job.”

Troup added, “We (school board members) couldn’t go out to campaign and beat the bushes. The PAC group made an impact. They got out there and got the vote.”

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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