Tripoli voters to decide on type of bonding for new gym - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tripoli voters to decide on type of bonding for new gym

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TRIPOLI (KWWL) -

Voters who live in the Tripoli School District go to the polls Tuesday in something of a unique vote - how to fund an addition to the existing Tripoli school building to build a new gym. School officials say the results could save the district big money.

When Tripoli Schools Superintendent Troy Heller points to plans for a new gym, he's proud and excited to talk about it.

"I think every school district knows that it's so difficult to do all of the arranging of what needs to be in the gym. It's the most used area of any school and by adding another gym, it's just gonna make it so much easier," Heller said.

Heller says the current gym is fine but could be better.

Part of it is an auditorium and space is tight.

He says the locker rooms could use a facelift, too.

Some parents agree a change would help.

"It needs updated. I've been to a lot of schools recently with one of my son's sporting activities and all the other schools are so much updated, says parent, Todd Rettig.

School officials say the plan would help with enrollment and pump new energy into the district.

"Our first job over the last 12 years is all academics. This one appears to be not so much academic even though shop and art areas will be improved but this is a 4th step. We want something 21st Century for our kids," Heller said.

A no-vote wouldn't kill the project.

The school board has already voted to move forward either way.

It just depends on whether it's paid with revenue bonds or general obligation bonds, which must be approved by voters.

"If we go G.O. bond, it'll save the district almost $700,000 and so that's what's unique about this bond issue. We're not going to raise taxes with this vote. I know it seems unreal to people but very seldom does that happen," said Heller.

The polls are open from 12-8 p.m. Heller says the gym would be a community resource. Tripoli Parks & Rec use the gym for free and could bring more tournaments to town. The weight room, which would also be renovated, is also open to the general public as long as a staff member is around, too.

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