FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A local school district says it needs to upgrade its facilities. But there are questions about how those upgrades will be paid for?
Eyewitness News Reporter Crystal Cranmore has the story.
School employees showed us around Fairview Elementary – one of the district’s two elementary schools in need of improvements..
In this area of the school..the classrooms don’t have doors.
It’s disruptive from one class to the another and also presents security issues.
“There are a lot of options we are looking at as time has changed ” said Bill Jones, School Board President.
That’s why the Crestwood School Board declared it’s intent to issue a 4.5 million dollar bond at a meeting Thursday night.
The goal – to pay for capital improvements and renovations to the district’s two elementary schools.
They’re also considering a science and technology – or stem – addition to the high school.
The district has hired an engineering firm to help.
“It’s going through all our buildings analyzing what we will need for the next 10 years. Where we should put money and where we shouldn’t put money .” said Jones
There is at least one area of contention though.
The district has an existing capital fund which was financed through a previous bond.
Additionally, the district’ proposed 38-point-five million dollar budget calls for a three percent tax increase.
Some residents worry about a possible trickle down effect.
“With asking for a bond.. the devil is the details in how exactly how they will spend the money. What value the students and taxpayers will get out of it ” said Matt Barr, Fairview Township resident.
“We have to make some tough decisions to get a balanced budget.. we offered early retirement to 9 teachers..most wont be replaced” added Jones
The district also says tax increases are mainly due to increases in employee salaries and benefits…Not to support existing debt.
I’m told the vote last night will help the district lock in a lower interest rate for the bond.
When the time comes, they may ask for less than 4.5 million dollars.