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Hamilton County voters approve school referendums

May 7, 2013

Hamilton County voters passed two referendums Tuesday that will effect the size of school classrooms and homeowner tax bills.

Noblesville residents passed a $28 million school referendum to expand Noblesville High School. More than 68 percent of those voting favored the measure.

Residents owning a home valued at $200,000 will see a tax increase of about $44 per year.

The measure would fund building renovations intended to accommodate a growing student body—and clear the way for Ivy Tech Community College to establish a regional campus in the Hamilton County seat.

Plans call for expanding Noblesville High School to make room for freshmen, who have been attending classes in a separate building. The current Freshman Campus then would become the new Noblesville East Middle School, replacing an aging facility the district says no longer meets its needs. But Ivy Tech sees potential in the 250,000-square-foot building, and plans are in place to open a community college campus there by fall 2014.

The biennial state budget lawmakers approved last month includes $12 million for Ivy Tech to pay for renovations at the current East Middle School. That funding was contingent on voters approving the referendum.

Elsewhere in Hamilton County, nearly 68 percent of voters approved a $95 million construction project to expand Hamilton Southeastern and Fishers high schools. Enrollment at both schools is expected to exceed capacity by the 2015-2016 academic year without the additions.

Once finished, the schools would be able to accommodate 1,000 more students each. The alternative, according to school officials, would have been to spend $125 million on a new, third high school.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools said the tax bill on a home valued at $195,000 would not see a tax increase, due to old debt coming off the books. A home valued at $230,000 or more would see an increase.

 

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