For the fourth time in four years, a Siouxland school district is attempting to improve their facilities --- but they need help from the public.
"If people think this is just a school bond issue, they're wrong," said Jill Kunzman, Citizens for HMS Group. "This is much more becoming a community issue."
District voters will vote next month on whether or not to to fund improvements for Elementary, Middle and High School students within the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn district.
Those improvements, include adding on to the existing middle and high schools.
"We did a survey of public support, and we found that there is good public support for a bond," said Kunzman. "There's just kind of different philosophies about the best way, or what the bond should be about."
The school board announced back in December, that it will close Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Elementary in Hartley, Iowa.
If approved, an addition for elementary students will be made to the high school in Hartley.
"There is a corridor, they are connected, that doesn't mean the elementary and the high school kids are going to be intermingling," said Kunzman. "This is a new elementary section."
If the bond does not pass, the elementary will be moved to the current middle school facilities.
"The building is, what the architect says, 'functionally obsolete," said Kunzman. "It is not handicapped accessible. Putting money in trying to fix it, is not the best scenario anymore."
The bond total rings in at $18.9 million.
A number that may seem large, but one that the HMS school board supports.
"We feel it is a much more efficient use of district, and tax payer money to build a new, modern, capable facility," said Andy Schierholz, HMS School Board Member. "Rather than spend all our dollars trying to retrofit an older building that's been deemed obsolete.
A better option for students, and a better option for the community.
"We use the phrase, 'grow and sustain, attract and retain'," said Bill Thompson, Superintendent. "And we need to do that, to be competitive for students."
HMS will be holding the special election on Tuesday, April 3rd,
School board members and the Citizens for HMS Group encourage you to go their website if you have any questions or concerns.