Members of engineering firm ISG met with the Elk Point-Jefferson School Board at a special meeting Monday, Aug. 16 to present results of a district-wide survey on possible facilities upgrades.
The surveys were available both online and in paper form at city halls and banks. Six hundred five of them were returned. Of the respondents, 94 percent were district residents and 56 percent were in the 36-55 age bracket. According to ISG’s Sue Peterson, that is the age group most engaged in school projects. That was reinforced as 73 percent of respondents have school-age children. Only 11 percent of those returning the survey own agricultural land in the district.
The next question asked, “Do you support the district exploring a bond referendum to pay for facility updates?” Those responses were positive, with 78 percent yes, 16 percent unsure and six percent no. The questions on capital maintenance projects and funding to improve safety and security drew similar responses.
The next series of questions was far more specific:
• Update and expand elementary and middle school classrooms ($6.95 million) – 77 percent;
• Expand kitchen and cafeteria ($2 million) – 79 percent;
• Update and expand fitness and multi-purpose rooms ($1.63 million) – 59 percent; and
• Build an auditorium ($6.3 million) – 54 percent.
The next set of questions was designed to determine at what overall level a bond referendum would be supported, needing 60 percent of voters to approve it. The group as a whole supported a $10 million bond, with 61 percent. However, ag landowners had a lower threshold, $8 million with 64 percent.
All this information will be presented to the community task force, comprised of district residents, that has been meeting over the last few months. That group will meet with the board Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m., where a final report will be prepared. The board will begin making decisions on which updates to support at its regular meeting Monday, Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m.