Bridgeport district voters to decide on $8.9 M school bond today - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Bridgeport district voters to decide on $8.9 M school bond today

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Today, voters in the Bridgeport district will decide whether to approve an $8.9 million bond to improve area schools.  However, the vote is being met with mixed reviews.

"The Our Kids First Committee, the community group who initiates the bond issue, had a great deal of concern about some of the health and safety issues at this school," says School Board member Linda Norman.
The district's elementary school was built in 1927.  It doesn't accommodate today's technology needs or properly comply with regulations set by the American Disability Act.
"The education process was different in 1927 than it is today," says Superintendent Dave Miller.

Miller says the construction project would bring Bridgeport into the 21st Century and allow for more tech-based education.  Safety is another big concern.
"Right now we're scrambling between three different buildings with kids and they're in transit constantly going back and forth," Miller adds.
The addition would put Bridgeport students under one roof, create a number of new classrooms and add a state of the art gymnasium. 

But some community members don't feel such a big construction project is necessary.
"You don't tear down your house when it needs new siding," says Angora Producer Jeff Metz.  So I think there was other options available and the tax burden to the property owners in this district is too great at this time."
Metz says any property tax increase weighs heavily on the area's farmers and ranchers, which affects a lot of people in the ag-based Bridgeport community.
"75% of the total value is coming from ag," says Metz.  "So therefore, agriculture will be paying for around 78% or 80% of this bond."
Metz acknowledges the bond would provide the school district with a number of great amenities but at too great a cost for the area's producers.

 The polls will be open today from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m.

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