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School board decisions since the nickel tax was defeated

A timeline of Woodford County Board of Education decisions and discussions related to a new high school since a special election in June 2018, when a majority of voters opposed a proposed nickel tax to pay for a new high school, is provided below. June 26, 2018 – A majority of voters (3,758 to 3,442) opposed a 5.5 cent (per $100 of accessed value) property tax increase to pay for a new Woodford County High School. Sept. 24, 2018 – School board votes unanimously to approve board member Margie Cleveland’s motion to restrict $600,000 in general fund dollars for construction projects. Its action will boost the school district’s bonding potential from about $23 million to $37 million, according to its fiscal agent. Feb. 11, 2019 – Architectural firms make presentations to the board, including recently-elected Dani Bradley and Allison Richardson, on how to move forward with building a new high school as a phased construction project with a $34 million budget. March 25, 2019 – School board selects a new architect, RossTarrant Architects. May 20, 2019 – School board sets a $35 million budget for a new high school, with Sherri Springate voting in opposition to Bradley’s motion. June 24, 2019 – Schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins cautions the school board about moving forward with a new high school, citing financial risks that could “jeopardize the long-term financial health of the district.” July 15, 2019 – School board approves project application documents for a new $36.265 million high school, with Springate and Debby Edelen voting no. Sept. 12, 2019 – Woodford County High School teachers tell the school board they don’t want phased construction. Oct. 28, 2019 – School board votes to restrict an additional $350,000 out of its general fund for a new high school, with Edelen and Springate voting no on Richardson’s motion. Richardson said knowing the board can always un-restrict some of those dollars if they’re not needed for the project, “I thought moving to restrict $350,000 would give us a better chance to build the school that we have tried and worked and discussed to get for our community …” Nov. 18, 2019 – School board votes to amend its 2019-20 budget in order to move $350,000 from its contingency fund to pay operating expenses, with Springate voting no. Dec. 16, 2019 – School board approves a schematic design for a new 1,350-student high school, with Springate voting no. Jan. 27, 2020 – School board votes to table action to approve revised BG-1 documents for a new $50.17 million high school, “pending more input from the community,” said Bradley in her motion. The cost of the revised BG-1 is an increase of $13.91 million from the BG-1 approved by the board in July 2019.

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