MT. STERLING, Ill. — A Tri-State school district is hoping to repair or rebuild two of its schools.
It's a heated topic among residents.
KHQA sat down with the superintendent to discuss the issue on next month's ballot.
Superintendent Vicki Phillips said the buildings in Brown County School District are aging.
That's why next month's ballot will ask residents if they want to build a new elementary school and high school.
"If that should not pass then the school district and the school board will take that as a sign from the voters," Phillips said. "That it is their wishes to see that the money that comes from their property taxes be used to refurbish and renovate the schools that we have.
Renovation would cost an estimated $10.5 million for the first ten years and another $10.5 million for the next ten years.
"To build new, we could build a new high school and a new elementary school for $25 million," Phillips explained. "When these buildings were built, no one ever imagined that we'd have the amount of electronics that we have now and would need the amount of power that we have now.
Another concern is that the foundation of the elementary school is shifting.
The building is shifting apart with each new addition to the school.
Phillips said tiles fell out of the ceiling a few years ago due to problems with foundation.
"We have very old water pipes," Phillips stated. "We have very old sewage systems.
Phillips said toilets often become clogged and pipes form leaks.
"Those things can be fixed, and we know they can be fixed," Phillips said. "It's a matter of 'do you want your tax dollars to go toward fixing things or building new?
Residents are skeptical.
"There is a lot of desire to find someone to blame for this," Phillips told KHQA. "The reality is our buildings are aged. We've done a good amount of repair and maintenance to keep our buildings looking as nice as they do. But over time they deteriorate.
Phillips is also concerned with the safety of the buildings in case of a lock down.
Many concerned voters reached out to KHQA but declined on-camera interviews.
The vote will take place April 2.