District rethinks improvements after two Brownsburg referendums rejected

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 6, 2015) - Brownsburg Schools are looking at new ways to improve the high school and add a new elementary school, after two referendums were voted down.

More than 52 percent of voters cast their ballots agains the referendums. The total cost would have been about $8 per month for homeowners, giving the schools $96 million dollars to make changes and repairs.

“The original plan was to build a seventh elementary school to deal with our growth," said Superintendent, Dr. Jim Snapp.

The new elementary school would also have needed more teachers. The second referendum would have supported funds to hire those teachers.

Dr. Snapp said the new school is crucial to a growing district. It's grown more than 25 percent in the past decade. Right now, there are 10 trailers in elementary schools throughout the district.

"We’re going to have to get more trailers, so that means more students in trailers. that means more students in the crowded hallways," said Dr. Snapp.

Brownsburg High School was built in 1971. Dr. Snapp said the school wasn't designed to hold as many students as there are now.

“Next year, we’re going to have some students in science classes at the high school that aren’t in science labs, more teachers on carts going from class to class," Dr. Snapp said.

School leaders said they are proud of supporters for their work in the campaign. They'll now have to look back and figure out what went wrong at the polls. Groups like Brownsburg Residents for Fiscal Responsibility held a strong opposition.

"They certainly had a dramatic impact," said Dr. Snapp.

Right now, the school will have to look for temporary solutions for next year. They'll also look at if the price tag was too high for homeowners and get more information out to residents, if they decide to put the referendums on the ballot again.

“We don’t want to raise taxes, but it was a last option for us. We worked to lower the magnitude of impact and the project to give the basic needs for our students," said Dr. Snapp. He added, "I felt that we’ve let them down as a community because those kids aren’t going to get to recapture those years.”

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