Tensions high as taxpayers discuss $95M renovations for WCCS school district

Controversy over S. Ind. school renovation proposal

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WHAS11) – A $95-million proposal to renovate schools in Southern Indiana had tensions high Tuesday night.

Taxpayers are split over the project for West Clark Community Schools.  It’s meant to enhance several school buildings, but would mean a tax increase for the community. 

The money would be sprinkled throughout the school district, but Silver Creek High School would see $64 million of the $95 million proposal.

"We're getting ready to put $150 a month debt service tax on top of the tax they're presently paying.  That could make people lose their houses,” said Kevin Guernsey.

Teachers and parents argue Silver Creek needs the most work done.     

“That school is way over capacity. It was built for about 500 students and hasn't had any upgrades since 1980. You've got kids that share lockers. You've got teachers on carts,” Chris Roundtree said. 

“I want desperately to fix the issues that we have, issues of health and safety at Silver Creek Campuses, concern me, tremendously concern me,” said another taxpayer who came to a public session Tuesday night. 

More than 100 people showed up to the public session at Henryville High School, a school that would see roughly $4.7 million in renovations. 

“We're already taxed higher than either one of our sister corporations on each side of us, and they're asking for another 95-million, which is such an overbuild and they're robbing the taxpayer which has supported West Clark over the years for the best,” Don Guthnik said. 

“How are you as a board going to fix the health and safety concerns at the three campuses, but especially Silver Creek which is falling down, how do you fix it if they say no?” said another taxpayer at the meeting. 

The discussion will continue at 6:30 Wednesday night at Borden High School. The official vote on the project is November 7th. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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