PARKER, S.D. (KELO) — It’s back to the drawing board for the Parker School District.
Tuesday night voters narrowly turned down a $5 million dollar bond issue that would have transformed the school for years and completed the district’s final phase of a two-phase project.
“I am disappointed, obviously we have a plan here at our school and what we are looking to do and we really needed those dollars to complete our phase 2,” Parker School Superintendent Donavan DeBoer said.
Phase one of reconstructing the school district is already underway with this new two-story elementary school where kids will attend class next fall.
The second part of phase one will be to renovate the old elementary school and make it the new high school.
Both of those projects are already paid for, it was phase 2 that voters didn’t see eye to eye on.
The $5 million dollar bond would have raised property taxes on a $200 thousand dollar house by $170 dollars.
“Anytime you try to raise taxes it’s going to be controversial,” DeBoer said.
If the bond would have passed last night the plan was to demolish the old high school built in 1912 and replace it with a new auxiliary gym and shop class, but now they are going to have to try again.
“I imagine they’ll look at doing another bond, I think the earliest we could do it is late June or mid-July, I could see a scenario pushing it to August or September with school starting again and we’re excited about school and maybe that could get a few more voters out,” DeBoer said.
Deboer says the district continues to grow and they need more space.
“When I got here 9 years ago there was 350, so we are up about 150 kids and we built a lot of houses in the community over the last three-four years, I think the growth is coming,
That’s why he says the time to build is now.
“Really our plan hasn’t changed we want to create the best experience for our kids every single day and we are going to continue to do that,” DeBoer said.
While KELOLAND NEWS was in Parker, we couldn’t find anyone to go on camera who voted no, but one man did tell us if the bond would have been for $3 million dollars, not five, he would have voted for it.