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Residents Share Concerns, Opposition to Proposed Johnston High School

Concerns included the Johnston school district's plan to inform residents of the upcoming $51 million bond referendum.

The first signs of opposition to the 's $51 million bond election were apparent during a community information meeting Thursday evening.

About 40 residents, including school board members and administrators, attended the meeting to learn about the upcoming , which will ask residents if the school district can bond $51 million in order to build a new high school at Northwest 100th Street and north of Northwest 62nd Avenue.

Sharon Glasgow said she would oppose the referendum.

"In the long run, I think you get more bang for your buck with the two buildings here," she said of keeping the current high school and creating an addition.

Superintendent Clay Guthmiller led the hour-long presentation on the proposed high school and subsequent renovations to the current high school, middle school and Wallace Elementary School.

In total, the facility plan will cost $122.3 million. The current high school would be remodeled to house eighth and ninth grades, while the current middle school would eventually house students from Wallace and a district-wide preschool.

A majority of the majority will come from sales tax and PPEL funds. If the bond issue passes, residents could see an .

Glasgow shared concern for how junior high students will easily get to the new high school for advanced classes.

Merlin Foreman also expressed concern with the district's plan and its methods for getting information to residents.

"I'd be scared to death with the attendance here," he said of the small turnout at Thursday's meeting. "Where are the citizens?"

Foreman said he feared the district just assumes the community will vote for the issue.

Guthmiller said the district is under no assumption the referendum will pass and said plans are in works to educate residents on the special election.

In the next four weeks, there will be , as well as about 30 presentations to civic groups and organizations.

The district's fall newsletter, The Connection, is full of bond information and will be delivered to residents early next week.

The next community meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 in the auditorium.

See more stories on the $51 million bond issue and proposed new high school:

For continued coverage of the Johnston school district bond election sign up for the Johnston Patch Newsletter.

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