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No one speaks during FWCS referendum public hearing

Monday, the FWCS school board opened its first public hearing for the $130 million proposal.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 10:39 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2019 10:14 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne Community Schools is taking steps to put a third building referendum before voters in 2020.

Monday, the school board opened its first public hearing for the $130 million proposal, only no one spoke for or against the projects.

"My only concern is people understand the importance of what we started," said board member Steve Corona.

District leaders are pointing at the renovations done at Northrop High School to sell the third referendum.

Its identical twin, Wayne High School, is on the list if voters approve the next referendum.

"I was so impressed with how it's been restructured, renovated, the lighting. It's incredible. That's what Wayne needs to look like," said Corona.

The proposal includes keeping the current maximum tax rate.

This means property taxes will only go up with the assessed value and not because of the project.

"It did help us sell the 2016 (referendum). What we want to let tax payers know is this doesn't mean we will keep coming back every four years," said FWCS chief financial officer Kathy Friend.

FWCS voters approved two referendums already, one in 2012 and the other in 2016.

Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said this third and final one is important.

"If we aren't about to get this third project, there are several major projects in the city that won't get done," Robinson said.

Corona said voter approval says a lot about the people living here.

"Nobody want's a crappy looking building in their neighborhoods," said Corona.

Major renovations in the third referendum will be at Wayne High School, Blackhawk Middle School and Miami Middle School.

The referendum funds would also be used to make sure every school has a secure vestibule.

The next public hearing will be during the December 9 board meeting.

The school board will also vote to move the referendum forward.

A petition drive is planned December 13 - December 30.

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