The importance of the Knox County R-1 bond issue

Knox County R-1 School District

On April 3, Knox County residents will vote for a $2.3 million school bond issue.

The bond is an extension of the district's debt service, a 20-cent tax residents have paid since 2007. It's money the Knox County R-1 School District desperately needs for repairs. Its building has sat just outside of Edina for almost fifty years. KHQA took a tour of the school to see where the repairs are needed most.

"I've been out to see the damage. The school was built the year I was born, I think 1963, 1964 and it hasn't had any repairs, so it needs a lot of work, it does," Jeff Doss, a Knox County resident said.

That's fifty years of the same infrastructure including the electrical work and plumbing. The bond renewal will help change that.

"Edina is small and Knox County is small and we need our school.This is just to make some repairs and you have to do things like that if you're going to keep things in tact at your school, and safe and the way you want it," Linda Banks, a Knox County resident said.

Walking inside the school's main entrance, you can visibly see the wear and tear in the Central Office wing.

"We have settling issues and cracks in the wall. We have some door frames that aren't allowing our doors to shut because of the settling," Superintendent Andy Turgeon said.

The lighting in both the elementary and high schools is outdated and will no longer be available in the coming years. So upgrades to the lights will be high on the priority list. The district is also looking to change the loading and unloading process of its school buses. Right now, there are safety issues with cars and buses moving through the same area.

"What we would do is move all the loading and unloading to the elementary school and have staggered parking for the buses in the same area instead of being strung out across the school," Turgeon said.

"We've got some sidewalk issues outside where it's settled. After 50 years, it's cracked, so we've got some safety issues."

Windows also need replacing as well as some of the brick work on the building's exterior.

In all, these issues would add up to $3.2 million in renovations, but the bond will supply the school with $2.3 million. The rest will have to wait.

"All of this is stuff that we need because it's causing issues and costing us money. Hopefully, with this bond, it'll save us money in the long run," Turgeon said.

If the bond issue passes, work on the school will begin in the summer of 2013. The district will then have three years to spend that money.