Archived Story

Rothsay proposing new school

Published 11:00am Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A growing student population has prompted a $24 million bond referendum for a new school in Rothsay.

The referendum will go before voters on Monday, Dec. 17. Discussion of building the new school is on the agenda of the school board meeting tonight at 7 p.m.

“We have been gaining 20 to 25 students a year,” said Superintendent Warren Schmidt. “We are bursting at the seams, and at this point we will need to rent facilities or bring in portables for next year to accommodate all of the students.”

Schmidt advocates building a new school rather than continuing to remodel or add onto the old one.

The building was constructed in 1903, and has undergone numerous additions or renovations, the last being in 2003. A study commissioned by the Board of Education determined that bring the current school up to code requirements would cost roughly $6.9 million for the current 47,000 square feet, without adding more space. An additional 53,000 feet of new space would be needed to meet the district’s needs, and the board recommended that the school have more acreage surrounding the school based on its projected student population. Estimated costs to have the current facilities meet the district’s needs would be $17 million, not including the additional land.

Schmidt says the town has seen many young families from Rothsay return to the area.

The referendum is for construction of a new, 100,000 square-foot school building. The project is undergoing mandatory review by the Department of Education.

The project is expected to involve input from the community, including input on facility design, location of the new school and what to do with the current facility.

Information on how the $24 million bond would affect property taxes in the district has not yet been completed.

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