Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce endorses school bond referendum
The Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has voted unanimously to support the proposed issuance of $10 million general obligation bonds to renovate the Fairfield High School and build an addition to it.
The board recognizes and supports the school district’s proactive and comprehensive approach to improving the safety and security of the district’s children, to updating the facilities in which they learn, and increasing building accessibility and functionality.
The total project budget is set at $12.5 million, which includes a $10.2 million construction budget, $1.3 million in bonding and professional fees, and a $1 million contingency fund. These items are a result of extensive study and input and austere economic consideration.
The $2.5 million not covered by the issuance of bonds will be covered by SAVE funds, which is a statewide 1-cent sales tax. If the bonds are approved at the April 2 election, voters will not see a tax increase. With that in mind, Fairfield Area Chamber Board of Directors concluded that a yes vote on April 2 would be a positive vote for Fairfield and a cost-effective decision at exactly the right time.
Nancy Morrissey, chamber executive director, said, “The chamber has long supported investments for the betterment of the community’s quality of life, including improvements to resident families’ learning environments. There is a strong link between the high quality of education in the Fairfield area and our economic vitality.”
The Fairfield Community School Board of Directors with staff input has identified project priorities such as new cooling and heating, improved air quality, flexible classroom spaces and ADA accessibility. The school board has also sought improved security and traffic flow, increased band and chorus rehearsal space, first floor locker rooms, new wrestling practice space and increased storage capacity.
“The improvement to our community’s school facilities is important,” Morrissey said. “This is about our children. We need to recognize and support our school system as a primary tool in economic development and vital impetus to the overall growth and development of businesses in our county.”
Morrissey said she believes the district has demonstrated good financial stewardship.
“We are confident that with the passing of this bond referendum, not only will Fairfield Schools be able to maintain its excellence in educating our future workforce, but we as a community will be able to attract and retain businesses and employers necessary to the success of Jefferson County,” she said.