By: Lauren Fabrizi
The Palmyra–Bennet School District is hoping to get a much needed makeover for its schools, and it needs the vote of a nearly $9 million bond to do so.
The goal is to expand the elementary school, relocate 5th and 6th graders from Bennet to Palmyra and include an industrial technology ag and consumer science addition to the high school.
Another big plan is to build a new athletic complex in between the two near Highway 2 and 190th Streets.
"Now it's time to address, one, the crowding needs that we need to do from an academic standpoint, but at the same time, we need to address some of those co-curricular activities," Cory Callahan, co-chair of the Our Kids First bond committee said.
The new complex would include a football and track field, and a gym that would also function as a fine arts facility, all costing nearly $6 million.
Callahan said the complex has been stirring up controversy among parents. He said some think its location off Highway 2 is too dangerous of a drive for their kids. Others think the bond is simply allocating too much money to co-curriculars.
"This portion of it is on athletics, but we haven't done anything with any of our athletic complexes or fine arts facilities in 31 years," Callahan said.
Callahan said the school board has already approved the bond, so now it's up to the taxpayers in the district to vote yes or no.
"If they decide there's too many concerns and it's not a good idea for our children, then it's back to the school board and back to the drawing board," Callahan said.
Voters within the Palmyra–Bennet district have until Sept. 10 to send in their ballots. If the majority votes in favor of the bond, the expansions will be set for the spring of next year.