School bond vote set for Thursday

Voters in Tioga will go to the polls on Jan. 16 to decide whether to approve a $9.925 million bond issue for new school construction.

Superintendent D’wayne Johnston said if passed the bond would, in phase one of the project, pay for construction of a new cafeteria and kitchens and three new classrooms at Central Elementary. The new construction is designed to be adjoined to the existing elementary building via a hallway from the gym foyer towards the east. A large set of commons bathrooms, kitchen, cafeteria and three classrooms (second story), with mechanical and limited storage space is also included. The current kitchen and cafeteria are not up to fire code.

In phase two, it would pay for construction of five new classrooms, one music room and relocation of the administration and main offices. This construction is proposed to join with the south of the existing Central School gymnasium and new kitchen and cafeteria construction.

Phase three of the project would involve construction of additional cafeteria and kitchen space at Tioga High School.

The cost to the owner of a $100,000 home in Tioga would be an additional $128.25 per year and to the owner of a $200,000 home, the additional cost would be $256.50 per year.

“It’s very simple,” said Johnston. “We’re asking for classrooms and kitchens, just the bare necessities.”

Johnston said enrollment at the elementary has grown from 110 students four years ago to 275 students today. The building exceeds capacity and the district is using a 10 classroom modular school building outside the elementary. It is fine as a temporary measure but not a permanent one, said Johnston.

“I don’t know if it will be needed in 50 years, but I do know it will be needed for the next 10 or 15,” he said.

The bond issue requires 60 percent or greater approval to pass.