The City of Rome is looking to make some major renovations at its middle school. It would be the last of a series of renovations that the city has done to its schools. Tonight the Rome community is coming out to vote on this project. The parts of Lyndon Strough Middle School have not been renovated since the 1950s. Those Eyewitness News spoke with, including the Rome City School Superintendent, say these renovations are long overdue. But they still need 60% of the vote to go through with the project.
Superintendent Jeff Simons says the renovation plan includes making the building completely handicap accessible, renovating all classrooms, dealing with outdated mechanical, heating and plumbing issues, and asbestos containing tile. "We want to take advantage of the fact that currently Rome receives 97.8% reimbursement for school repairs from the state," Simons said. If it doesn't pass today, there's the chance that by the next time they vote, the state reimbursement could decrease. "Additionally, the more we wait, the more expensive the work is going to get," he added.
It's a $25.4 million project. But Simons says for an average taxpayer with a home of about $60,000, they'll pay an increase of $4.82/year. If it passes, they'll form a committee of parents and staff members to work with an architect on the plan and a schedule. If it doesn't, the board of education will have to re-evaluate the current plan.
" i've participated in and conducted 27 different sessions during the month of November and when people leave I've not encountered any opposition whatsoever."
And voters eyewitness news spoke with re-enforced his point. "If they're going to give us the money we mine as well use it now before the state runs out of money," said voter Aric Somlinksi.
"I think it's absolutely necessary," said Beverly Riedel, "The schools need to be renovated so the kids have a good place to be."
For information on the plan and poll locations, you can visit: http://web.moric.org/rome/news.cfm?id=294