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Yorktown school district voters to determine bond issue

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
May 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.

The Yorktown High School auditorium, built in 1929, will be renovated to include a new lobby and new restrooms if a $5.8 million bond issue is approved by voters. The bond would also pay for a new high school classroom and other improvements on both the elementary school and junior high campuses as well as new restrooms at the football stadium.

Yorktown's 83-year-old high school is in need of a facelift.

That is the unanimous opinion of the school district's board of trustees which has placed a $5.8 million bond issue on the May 12 ballot.

It's not just the high school that would receive attention if the bond is approved by voters.

Yorktown superintendent Deborah Kneese, in her seventh year at the helm of the school district, said the board approved a facilities study in October.

"Teachers and staff had the opportunity to express where their concerns were," said Kneese. "The board took a look at the final report and prioritized projects."

Those priorities include demolition of the current high school classroom building and construction of a new high school classroom building.

The new high school classroom will include new restrooms, a new office for the principal, a reception area and a new teachers' workroom.

A new library would also be included in the project.

Construction of a new lobby and restrooms for the existing auditorium is also part of the bond proposal.

In addition, new central heating and air conditioning and remodeling of the elementary school, general remodeling of the junior high school and new public restrooms at Wildcat Stadium would be funded by the bond, if approved.

According to information supplied by the school district, if the bond is approved, the owner of an average home in Yorktown would see a $10.63 increase on the 2012-13 tax bill.

An average home in the Yorktown school district is valued at $38,899, according to the DeWitt County Appraisal District.

The Yorktown school district does not have any long-term indebtedness.

Long-time election observers in Yorktown say that conversation about the bond election has been somewhat muted, one noting it's the quietest election he can remember.

Caroline Blain, 87, said she supports the bond.

"I haven't heard any negative comments about it," Blain said. "I think it's an excellent idea. Our school is deteriorated and antiquated.

"The time is now with the additional oil field funds coming in - don't wait until the boom is over," Blain said.

Kneese said she, too, encourages voters in the school district to exercise their right to vote.

Early voting continues through May 8. Election day is May 12.

There is no school board election in the Yorktown school district this year.

Board members are Mark Weischwill, H. R. Krause, Mark Niemeier, Keary Perez, Boyd Weise, Jerry Steves and Nelda Sertuche.



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