The Plummer-Worley Joint School District is asking voters Tuesday to pass a $13.7 million bond levy to pay for a new high school and remodel existing school buildings so that all three schools can be on the same piece of land.
The district wants to build a new high school, convert the present high school to a middle school and convert the current middle school to an elementary school.
This would allow the three schools to be on one site in Plummer. The middle and high schools are currently in Plummer and the elementary school is in Worley, about 10 miles south.
“It’s far more prudent to put everything on one site,” district Superintendent George Olsen said.
Remodeling the existing elementary school wouldn’t be worth the cost, Olsen said, and the site is too small to occupy a new facility.
If the levy gets the approval of two-thirds of those voting – the margin needed to pass – the tax rate would be $2.80 per $1,000 of assessed value, Olsen said.
This is the district’s first bond election since 1980.
“We don’t come very often, but we need to come now,” Olsen said.
Some in Worley oppose the idea, he said.
Worley is in Kootenai County; Plummer is in Benewah County. Property values are higher in Kootenai County than in Benewah, so Worley residents argue that they’re paying more of the building costs but are having a school taken away from them, Olsen explained.
“It’s a tough call, and I understand that,” he said. “As a (superintendent), I’ve got to look at the whole picture.”
Polls are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Lakeside Elementary, Tensed Senior Center and the school district board room in Plummer.