Last April, the Randall and Wheatland school districts won approval of four collective school referendums.

At Wheatland Center School, residents granted the district permission to exceed revenue limits by $625,000 for non-recurring purposes to maintain the current level of services the school offers.

The decision, which came on a 465-352 vote, is an extension of the current operational referendum set to expire at the end of the school year.

Additionally, voters authorized the district to obtain general obligation bonds, not to exceed $8.45 million, to address safety needs and upgrade school infrastructure with 444 in favor of the plan and 367 opposed.

According to District Administrator Marty McGinley, more than half of the capital referendum will go toward fixing mechanical issues on the elementary side of the building, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning concerns.

Other improvements include renovating classrooms for early childhood education, 4-year-old kindergarten and art along with adding two other classrooms to enhance hands-on learning.

Wheatland also plans to make safety upgrades, including installation of cameras, secure entrances and alarm systems.

“The facility referendum allows us to update the facility and prepare the mechanicals in the building for the next 20 years,” McGinley said in April. “It also will allow us to highlight some of the programs that make Wheatland special and give our students appropriate space to do STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).”

Meanwhile, at Randall Consolidated School, the district saw a similar result from its residents.

The referendum showed 661 residents voted in favor of allowing the district to exceed the revenue limit by $675,000 a year for nonrecurring purposes to maintain educational opportunities for students.

The current operational referendum, which had been passed by voters three years ago, will expire at the end of the school year.

Furthermore, voters gave the district permission to borrow $5.5 million to make improvements on an aging building, which last saw an upgrade in 1993, and add safety features.

Improvements include cafeteria expansion, which will be for community use, and replace a leaky roof on the elementary school side of the building.

“Both referendums were extremely critical,” Randall District Administrator John Gendron said. “As we shared during our informational process, gaps in school funding caused the necessity to ask for the operational referendum. The facility needs were long overdue, and the added space is needed to provide the educational programming that our kids and families have come to expect.”

While 693 residents voted in favor of the capital referendum, 386 opposed.

 
 

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