Voters to consider school bond issue in Altenburg - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Voters to consider school bond issue in Altenburg

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By Holly Brantley - email

ALTENBURG, MO (KFVS) - A 99-year-old building, a leaky gym, and crowded classrooms: just a few reasons why Altenburg leaders say they need a new school. They're asking voters to go to the polls in April and pass a $2.4 million bond issue to build and equip a new school for Kindergarten through 8th grade.

"One of the main reasons this came about is due to the overcrowding in our classrooms and cafeteria," said Superintendent Bleau Deckerd.

Deckerd says the buildings are not only too crowded, but also inefficient.

"Sometimes when the wind and rain blows through the gym really hard the floor gets wet," said Deckerd. "This January the snow actually accumulated on the gym floor."

Meanwhile, Deckerd says Altenburg has attracted more young families.  He says enrollment has grown from about 80 total students in the late 1990s to around 120 students today.  What's more, they'd like to keep those students under one roof.

"We've had to piece together our buildings," said Deckerd. "The kids have to walk outside for bathroom breaks, or to go to the office."

"I think it's going to benefit the community," said Tammy Palisch.

Deckerd says that's the vibe he gets from most people in Altenburg.  He says now is a great time to build.

"Materials are at an all time low," said Deckerd. "Contractors are looking for work and stimulus money is also available for schools.  That's a big reason."

Still, Deckerd says he realizes it's never a good time to ask people for money and those opposed to the bond issue say now is an especially bad time.  They feel today's economic climate just isn't right to raise taxes, or take on a big project.

"I don't know what to expect form the town," said Palisch. "I will be voting for it. I realize my taxes will go up."

If the bond issue wins approval, they hope to put a new building along Highway C and be ready for the first classes in 2011.

Right now, the tax levy in District 48 is $3.60 per $100. If the bond issue passes, that would go up 83 cents to $4.43. Proposition 2 needs the approval of 57 percent of voters to pass.

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