A lack of fresh air in classrooms, and outdated security are some of the reasons the Marion County R-II School District is turning to voters on April 3rd for help.
Chelsey Tuley is a history teacher for Marion County R-II schools. She said the 20 year-old HVAC system can be a distraction for students, especially due to the fact that it doesn’t bring in fresh air.
“We live in a farm community, so especially in the fall we have a lot of students who suffer from allergy problems, so I think this is going to be very huge for our school and students.” Tuley said.
Superintendent Tony DeGrave said that’s one of the reasons the district is looking to replace the system, which also requires teachers in adjacent classrooms to share thermostats.
“We’ve got to make sure our kids are comfortable, and give them some alternatives, heating, and make sure the humidity levels are low and the air is fresh.” DeGrave said. “I think that anytime that we can improve the environment for a student to learn, we need to take a look at that.”
The district is turning to voters to approve extending its current bonds. DeGrave said it would not be a tax increase, and it would help alleviate some of the facility issues.
“Having the ability to run some bonds, and gain some access to a large portion of funds there, really opens up the door for us to get current.” DeGrave said.
In addition to a new HVAC system, the district would also like to upgrade its security by way of new cameras in the building and buses, as well as a new intercom system. Teachers like Tuley said that’s another upgrade they’d like to see.
“There’s been a lot of recent tragic events in the news, and I think that this is a time in our country when we need to take those steps to make sure our students are safe.” Tuley said.
If voters approve extending the bonds, the district would like to get started on the project by late April.