After two previous failed attempts to pass a bond referendum for major improvements to classrooms and the gymnasium, voters in the Cleveland School District will again decide the fate of the measure during the August 14 primary election.

A recent survey found 66-percent of households in the district said repairs need to be made at the school and 78-percent of respondents indicated that updated educational spaces are critical to preparing students for the future.

After a year-long break from the last bond request, Superintendent Brian Phillips says the results of the survey were very encouraging.

“If this continues to fail, kicking the can down the road for us getting harder and harder and it’s not something that’s a great option for us. So we would obviously, if it fails, continue to do what we can. Ultimately if we fail and never get this thing passed, the building won’t be here. We tell our taxpayers, you’re going to be paying somebody’s taxes. Taxes don’t go away just because there’s not a school here.”

Sections of the school are nearly 70-years old and the gym is the oldest in the Valley Conference at 69-years old, the second oldest is Alden where their gym is 51-years old.

“We’ve really gotta good story out there now of the why. Why are we doing this. Why now. We’re extremely optimistic and hopeful going forward. We see a community and a school worth preserving and this bond project is going to move Cleveland forward to having the facilities that we need to continue to meet the needs of the students, many years to come.”

The total referendum ask is 19.5-million dollars and is broke down into two questions on the ballot. Three-fourths of the referendum funds are in question one, which addresses major repairs and improvements to classrooms, roof replacement, a new STEM Lab and HVAC upgrades. The second question is for construction and equipping a new gymnasium with updated locker rooms, mechanical room and weight room.

“When it came down to it, the project that we had proposed at 18-million, we couldn’t build it any cheaper. Construction costs were continuing to climb. So, essentially the same project at 18-million has been put back on the table. We also took a look at the fact that we divided it into two questions. It does give our taxpayers some options as far as, you know, what they want to support.”

Landowners in the Cleveland School District will be able to take advantage of the new School Building Bond Agricultural Tax Credit (Ag2School) if the bond request passes. It means a 40-percent tax break on the cost of paying for construction bond issues for landowners.

The polls on August 14 will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

For more information on the bond referendum, (CLICK HERE).