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District asks voters to approve tax hike to fund expansion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indianapolis school district is asking voters to approve a $50 million referendum to pay for an expansion.

Tuesday evening, the district will host a meeting at Homecroft Elementary to discuss the plan.

The debate is largely focused on classroom trailers. Right now there are 26 trailers in Perry Township, where students are having class because there is no room for them in the main buildings. Now the district is asking for money to eliminate the trailers and expand the school buildings.

Supporters of the tax hike say Perry Township has seen so much growth that it’s becoming unsafe for students. If there is a tornado, students are in trailers instead of a brick building. All winter long students have had to walk from the trailers to the main building to even go to the restroom. That can be disruptive as students put boots and coats on, then teachers pause class to take kids to and from the main building.

If voters don’t approve the referendum, the district will add up to 62 trailers. Supporters say that could have a negative impact on the entire township.

“They’ll start taking over art rooms, music rooms and gymnasiums for classrooms. So eventually we’ll be very full. We’ll have a lot of classroom trailers and it will not be an environment that people want to move to Perry Township so their kids can go to school in a classroom trailer,” said Jim Leach, a parent campaigning for the referendum.

The tax hike would also fund a renovation for Winchester Village Elementary. That school is an open concept school, which was common during the 1970s. It has no doors or walls inside.

“It’s still not as safe. It’s not as productive as it could be. If a person wanting to do violence got through the front door, there’s no doors there teachers can close. There are no walls the teacher can protect them with. It’s not the best environment,” said Leach.

If voters approve the referendum, the average taxpayer will see a $9.81 tax hike per month.

The issue will be on the ballot May 5. If you have questions, the public is welcome to attend a meeting at Homecroft Elementary at 7 p.m. Tuesday.