By Marianne Mueller, REPORTER

 Superintendent Lynn Gibson and Assistant Superintendent Kim Suedbeck, were joined by School Board members in the Hononegah School library on Nov. 8. Each anxiously awaited results of a referendum question on a local Election Ballot. In question was a vote that if passed would allow Hononegah High School to access up to $44 million in building bond funds. Behind the reasons for the proposal was a need to replace the Dome after it deflated in December of last year? “We knew we had seven years left on the Dome. When the Dome collapsed, we were already in the mist of developing a Master Facilities Plan,” said Superintendent Lynn Gibson. The loss of the Dome prompted 300 students to opt out of physical education classes. This is when we asked, “Do we need to run a referendum?” It is part of the job of the Board of Education and the Administration to come up with a solution. “This campus needs around $80 million dollars worth of work. In another two years roofing needs to be done.”

A Referendum Committee was formed and a series of public meetings followed. The first series of meetings were held to give the public a chance to determine what they saw what was the most urgent needs to the least urgent needs based on break out group discussions. The second series of meetings began with school tours allowing the public to see areas in need of improvement. Tours were followed by open sessions where the public could ask questions. At each session a brief history and reasons behind the need for the referendum were outlined. Questions arose during meetings, if it would be cheaper to build a new high school on property that the school already owns? It was stated that there was not enough enrollment to support building a new school. Based on collected data input, the Hononegah School Board of Education narrowed down and identified specific needs. Projects identified included; improvements and or renovations to the cafeteria/culinary arts areas, classrooms, a pool, a field house to replace the Dome with a brick and mortar building, a softball field, a new football stadium, tennis courts and the Performing Arts Center. A new field house would offer space for sports activity and for community use. Other possible projects up for consideration are a new maintenance building and work to be done on the Rockton Grade School building. Listed in the plan was the building of an $8,000.000 pool. Supporters of having a pool gave reasons of being able to have meets in Rockton which would help businesses and bring people to town. Parents could have less travel time. Currently the swim team goes to different schools for meets and uses the pool at North Pointe Health and Wellness. Practice time is limited at North Pointe. Possibilities of the public using the pool were also discussed.

Two more groups formed. Friends of Hononegah High School believed that with the passing of the referendum, it would be an investment in Hononegah High School and would provide a bright future for students and a healthy community for residents.  Opposing views were expressed both at meetings and through the group Taxpayers against the Hononegah Referendum. Paying higher taxes and the cost behind approved spending would be among the concerns. If the referendum had passed those living in a home valued at $100,000 would pay an extra $130 per year. Many expressed that above all that, educational needs must be met before anything else. Some argued that athletics do not hold the same importance. Often asked is, why it would cost $700 million dollars to replace tennis courts? Counter points were made that athletics also help to create discipline as athletes are expected to keep good grades. Athletics may also lead to future possibilities. Hononegah worked with DLA Architects who served as advisors on how to bring the school into the 21st century.

The Performing Arts Center has water damage due to leaking, and also needs new dimmer racks and sound panels. A general consensus determined in the breakout session is that students hardly ever use their lockers anymore. Most students only use backpacks. Parental concerns arose about the use of backpacks hurting student’s backs because of the weight of the books.

“In the cafeteria, an All Purpose room, about 650 kids are served per hour. Lunch generally begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends around 2 p.m. in order for all of the students to be served,” said Suedebek. The kitchen currently has older appliances; chillers and freezers. The foods lab/culinary arts class area is used every hour of every day. Students often have to be turned away because there is not enough space for them. Granted opportunities to do business and to get credentials are available to students. The old part of the school has visibly worn out flooring in spots.

The proposed referendum was defeated by a number of 10,309 no votes to 6,339 yes votes. “It’s disappointing because I believe the referendum projects are necessary in order to continue providing the world-class education our students at Hononegah deserve,” said Hononegah School Board President, Dave Kurlinkis. “However the community has spoken and we respect their vote. We will need to analyze what happened and to figure out the next steps.”

“With the Physical Education Waiver set to expire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year; space for all of our students will continue to be a problem,” said Superintendent Gibson. “The Administration will work with our Board of Education to determine where we go from here.”

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.