FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) - Tuesday is decision day for Hamilton County voters. Two school districts are asking for the OK to spend more than $120 million.
For Hamilton Southeastern schools, the question is about $95 million.
"This referendum is all about additional space in our two high schools," says Brian Smith, HSE superintendent.
Twenty thousand students are enrolled in Hamilton Southeastern schools. HSE and Fishers High Schools are quickly running out of space
"This is not projected growth. These students are already here moving up through the grade levels," Smith said.
Smith says the best option is to add classrooms to both high schools.
"We need to have these facilities available to us by August 2015," he said.
To do that, voters are being asked to agree to pay a higher tax rate.
"We are asking voters to approve a referendum of $95 million, which will allow us to add classrooms to each high school for about 1,000 students," Smith said.
Taxpayers in homes valued below about $230,000 will pay about the same as they do now. Those in higher valued homes would pay more.
"The impact to taxpayers will be a little bit different depending on their assessed value, and the type of deductions they have and whether they are above or below the property tax caps and what taxing district they are in," Smith said.
Smith said if voters say no, instead of a building expansion with new classrooms being built over parking lots, both high schools will have trailers parked outside. In all, there would need to be 84 trailers.
"Which is not a good long-term solution to the type of space needs we are going to be having," he says.
If voters say yes, construction would begin by the end of the summer, with students in the new classrooms beginning August 2015. The polls are open Tuesday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters should vote where they do for any general election.
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