School proposal fails for second time

Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – For the second time, voters here said “no” to a bonding proposal school improvement package for Riverview Community Schools.

Residents voted 1,874 to 955 against the measure, a request to borrow $32 million for school improvements and repay the bonds in 30 years.

The proposal was trimmed to $32 million from $43 million after it failed in February. Some features in the February proposal, like a new cafeteria and gym at Riverview Community High School, were dropped in the most recent proposal. Districtwide technology and security improvements and roof and window replacements, which would have been the first such improvements to the schools in 20 years, remained on both proposals.

“The results were obviously disappointing,” Supt. Russell Pickell said. “The need still’s unfortunate that didn’t go through, it’s the children that are going to bear the brunt of it and we’re going to have to figure out what it’s going to take to get that done.”

Pickell said the school board will discuss options including trimming the proposal again and reintroducing it in February, although he said most of the fat had already been cut.

“It would be really difficult to trim anything not essential to the operation of the buildings,” he said. “It’s a difficult situation to look at. We need to come up with something. The need doesn’t go away because the vote went that way.”

The original proposal was sized down from recommendations totaling $93 million stemming from a 2007 facilities assessment.