HUDSON — School district voters approved Issue 30 Nov. 7, an $81.55 million bond issue that is earmarked for capital fixes, including a new middle school.
According to the final but unofficial results, the bond issue was approved with 4,140 votes for the bond levy to 3,589 votes against the bond levy, or 54 percent to 46.4 percent.
The 30-year, 4.97-mill bond will cost the owner of a $300,000 home an additional $522 per year.
"We are most pleased and grateful that once again Hudson City School District voters have demonstrated their support for our schools by approving Issue 30," said Board of Education President David Zuro. "The much-needed facilities improvements will serve our community and, most of all, our students for many years to come. We will promptly move forward toward making the facilities vision a reality."
"We are truly grateful for the thoughtful input and heartfelt support of so many Hudson residents," said Superintendent Phil Herman. "We engaged extensively with community members to create a comprehensive facility plan that we collectively felt met the needs of our current and future students."
At the polls
Voters queried about Issue 30 at the Barlow Community Center and the Hudson Library seemed to be split in their opinions on the bond issue.
"My real estate taxes just went up," said Hudson resident John Lennon. "They are asking for the world and they don't need the world, not with the economy the way it is. A lot of guys my age feel the same way. They will probably come back with a smaller amount, which they should have done in the first place."
John Rettger said he, too, voted against the bond issue, saying the district "asked for the sky" when choosing among the possible options.
"They should see what the reality is, instead of asking for the moon," Rettger said. "That's a lot of money."
However, Jeff Russell, who voted yes to the bond issue, said he thought it was needed.
"I'm a graduate of Hudson High School," Russell said. "My children when to school in Hudson. The board and especially [district Superintendent] Phil Herman did a magnificent job of engaging the community. The wishes and concerns of the community have been heard. This will serve Hudson children easily for the next 30 years."
Katrina Whited said she voted for the bond issue due to the importance of the schools in the community.
"Education is the most important aspect of the community," Whited said as she exited the polls. "We have a great system and we want to keep it that way."
Two other people, who wished to remain anonymous, said that they voted yes for the bond issue. "I think it is important to support the schools."
One woman who preferred her name not be used said she voted against the levy, saying she "did not want to see her taxes go up."
The building plan
The district’s master facilities plan, which would guide spending of the bond money, would include:
? Construction of a new 176,000-square-foot middle school for sixth through eighth grade. The new building would be "slightly smaller" than the current facility, but "would feel larger because of the more efficient use of space," Superintendent Herman said;
? The downsize of Evamere Elementary School, turning the building into a new central office. Currently, the district’s administrative offices are in three residential homes, Herman said. The building also would be used for the Hudson Community Education and Recreation programs;
? Renovation of McDowell and converting it into a building for the district’s pre-K and kindergarten students (about 450 students);
? Renovation of Ellsworth Hill, including an expansion on the south side of the building, and converting the building for the district’s first- and second-graders (about 700 students);
? Renovation of East Woods and converting the building for the district’s third- through fifth-graders (about 1,100 students);
? Renovation of the high school’s air conditioning and other utilities, along with the media center. In addition, the maintenance and auto tech facility the district operates through the Six District Educational Compact would be moved to the high school;
? Renovation of the Ada Cooper Miller Natatorium; and
? Reconfiguring parking and bus loading areas to help keep traffic running smoothly.