Calhoun voters are being asked to approve a $3,560,000 bond for the construction of a new Arnoldsburg Elementary School on March 4, 2011. The school board approved the call for a bond election last week.

Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Roger Propst says the bulk of bond money will be used to provide matching funds of $2,814,758 to supplement a WV School Building Authority Grant of $5,656,162 for the construction of an Arnoldsburg school out of the flood plain.

"I am happy to announce that the current bond issue, approved by voters in 1996, will pay off one year early because of the timely and responsible payment of taxes by county taxpayers, making surplus funds available to pay off the bonds," Propst said.

The Calhoun School Board decided that any new bond issue would not increase current tax rates.

"Because of the 1996 bond paying off early, there would be no increase in taxes for our citizens, with current tax rates simply continuing," said Propst.

The current Arnoldsburg school sits primarily in the flood plain and has been flooded at least five times in recent years. The original portion of the school was built in 1951.

The remaining bond funds would be used to add air conditioning to the gymnasiums at Calhoun Middle/High School.

"As everyone knows who has attended graduation ceremonies or Fall sports activities in the gymnasiums, the heat can be stifling," Propst said.

In 1996, the voters of Calhoun approved a bond issue of $3,370,000 for improvements to county schools.

The funds were earmarked for additional classrooms at Arnoldsburg, total renovation of the HVAC at Pleasant Hill, and supplemental construction at the new Calhoun Middle/High School.

Those upgrades included furniture, technology, HVAC upgrade, an increase in auditorium seating, with an auxiliary gymnasium.

"This investment by the citizens of Calhoun County has greatly benefited our students and community," Propst said.

The superintendent and appropriate staff are available to address county groups at anytime to answer questions about the bond issue.

Contact the Superintendent's office at 304-354-7011, Extension 17 to schedule a speaker.

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