Vote yes or vote no? The Knox Elementary School Palmer Wing project is now in the hands of the voters as taxpayers in the Knox school district head to the polls today. Voters will decide whether or not to finance through property taxes the construction of a new wing and the demolition of the old Palmer Wing, which Superintendent A.J. Gappa said is antiquated, dilapidated, and overall unfit for education.
Gappa said the wing was originally built nearly 60 years ago – a different time, he said, when electricity wasn’t as advanced, heating and cooling was much less effective, and fewer kids ate in the cafeteria. He said 20 years ago when the west wing of the school was added, California and Washington township schools were closed, bringing more students to the Knox school and putting more strain on the old cafeteria.
There is still time to vote absentee in the special election in Starke County.
Voters in California, Center and Washington townships are eligible to vote on a public question offered by the Knox Community School Board concerning a construction and remodeling project in the Palmer Wing at the elementary school.
Absentee voting is available today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Starke County Courthouse. The last day to vote absentee in-office is Monday from 8 a.m. to noon. The polls will be open on Election Day Tuesday, May 7 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A total of 207 in-office absentee ballots have been cast, 32 mail-in ballots received and 8 travel board votes collected.
Absentee voting is available in the Starke County Courthouse today from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m.
Voters in the Knox Community School District are examining a referendum question on the ballot that asks permission to move forward with a construction project at the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School.
Members of the Whatever It Takes Committee hope to persuade undecided Knox Community School Corporation voters to support a property tax referendum to address problems with the school’s 60-year-old Palmer wing. Issues include an outdated heating and cooling system for which parts are no longer available, an electrical system that is inadequate to handle the load put on it by computers and other techonology and a cafeteria that’s too small to prepare food for the entire student body. They’ve held a series of open houses at the school so voters can see the problems for themselves. One lady, Gail, remains undecided. She says she wants to make sure school officials are prudent stewards of taxpayer money.
The Starke County Election Board has formally approved a public question presented by the Knox Community School Board to be placed on a ballot for a special election set for May 7.
The question pertains to the proposed Knox Elementary School renovation and construction project. The Department of Local Government Finance has approved the wording of the question to be placed on the ballot and it has been certified by the Starke County auditor.
The Knox Community School Board was updated on the public question that will be presented to voters in the school district on May 7. Superintendent A.J. Gappa gave this status to the school board members.
“The DLGF did approve the ballot language to be placed on the referendum ballot so that information now goes to the local county election board who will have a meeting to adopt that resolution and move forward from there,” said Gappa.
The Starke County Election Board is expected to meet at 10 a.m. this morning to discuss a number of topics, including the Knox Community School Corporation’s request to hold a special election on May 7 in order to present a public question to its voters.
The Knox Community School Board and the Facility Study Committee will be meeting with Dr. Mike Trego this evening to discuss the referendum process.
Dr. Trego, a professor at Indiana State University and an expert on how to successfully get a referendum to pass, will meet with the Board in a special work session tonight in place of their regular board meeting.
The Knox Community School Board got an update on the progress of the Facility Study Committee on Monday night. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the committee is gathering figures for the possible project on the Palmer Wing of the elementary school.
“Architect Dana Wanamaker had sent some figures over to the school and to representatives from Umbaugh finance, and we still haven’t talked to the representative from Umbaugh so we are still in that planning stage of how to move forward,” said Gappa. “We will be meeting with our board committee in the near future and getting information back out to the public.”