Quincy School Board votes yes for $89 million in structural change

Public gives their opinion at the Quincy Public School Board meeting.

Tension, discussion and debate filled the Quincy Senior High School as the Quincy Public School Board voted 5 to 2 to place a new facilities plan on the November ballot.

"Basically it was an absolutely historic event I think to take place in the Quincy Public School System," Quincy School Board President Stephanie Erwin said.

The board has approved an $89 million plan to renovate, upgrade, and create new schools within the district.

"It would create five new elementary schools, move the sixth graders to junior high and move the 9th graders to the high schools, Erwin said.

New schools would feature amenities including more classrooms, special learning classrooms, a lunchroom with a theatre, natural skylight and space for additional expansion. If approved, the $89 million needed to pay for the schools wouldn't be paid with tax payer money, but by bonds.

"It TMs just similar to a mortgage. This would be over 20 years, as we've said it would not raise the current tax rate, Erwin said.

Not everyone though was on board with the decision.

"I thought they should not have gone for it. I'm for building new schools, but one at a time, not three at a time, and then it became four at a time and now five at a time, Jeff Kerkhoff said.

Kerkhoff said he urged the public to strongly consider how they vote during the November 4th election.

"Be sure to study the issue and I think you'll find we can build new buildings, but we can do it one at a time, Kerkhoff added.

In the end, board president Stephanie Erwin says it is the right time for this to happen.

"We have identified that we have this window to not raise taxes. We have low debt, we have great borrowing power, it TMs just a great opportunity to let the public decide if we need this, Erwin said.