Voters approve Smyrna School District referendum

SMYRNA — Voters greenlit an effort to improve a Smyrna School District elementary school by passing a capital referendum Saturday. 

The capital referendum passed 317 to 134.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support that our community has demonstrated today during our referendum question,” said Superintendent Patrik Williams Saturday night. “This support is representative of the Smyrna Eagle pride that our families, community leaders and staff routinely exhibit on behalf of our students. We are excited to get to work.”

The district was seeking $667,300 of local funding to renovate mechanical systems and replace the roof at North Smyrna Elementary School.

Homes with a market value of $200,000 will see no tax change in the first year, and will actually see a decrease in taxes in the subsequent years as the district pays off other bonds, Jerry Gallagher, finance director for the district, said in a previous interview. The tax hike would value less than $3 a year for taxpayers with homes with a market value of $200,000.

“In the district …  we do an exceptional job extending the life of our facilities and equipment,” Mr. Williams said at a January school board meeting. “Even still, there comes a time when replacements must be made.”

The total funding needed for the project is $2.9 million, with the state taking on a brunt of the ticket at $2.3 million, or 77%.

The renovations to North Smyrna Elementary are part of a larger request the district put into the state. The district plans to resubmit its proposal next year for additional capital support. In addition to renovations and upgrades, Mr. Gallagher said the district also is looking at the need for expansion, which are “larger ticket items down the road.”

With increasing enrollment, the district’s master plan is looking toward expanding existing schools, building a new school and addressing improvements for aging facilities.

The last major capital referendum for the district was in 2014, which also supported renovations to North Smyrna Elementary School, as well as other facilities in the district.

Smyrna’s capital referendum comes on the tails of Indian River School District’s successful referendum earlier this month, which also addressed facilities needs, such as building a new high school. 

Brooke Schultz can be reached at 741-8272 or bschultz@newszap.com.