In an Oct. 18 public referendum, residents of the Harrison school district overwhelmingly passed a $46.5 million bond aimed at addressing infrastructural and overcrowding concerns in each of the district’s six schools.
Eighty percent, or 1,693 residents, voted in support of the bond, which is to be repaid over a 30-year term; just 414 residents voted against the bond.
Harrison Schools Superintendent Louis Wool said the bond will have no impact on district property taxes. The bond will be repaid through the district’s capital improvements budget, about $2.6 million. And the district has no other debt; debt from a $22 million bond borrowed in 1996 was paid off last year.
The largest portion of the funding—more than 50 percent—will be used to address infrastructural concerns at Louis M. Klein Middle School, LMK. That work will include replacement of the school’s roof and façade. The LMK auditorium will also undergo a complete overhaul, and the cafeteria will be renovated with a small expansion. The field adjacent to the school will also be upgraded with a new surface, lights, restrooms and bleachers.
Ilissa Marks, president of the PTA and a district parent, told the Review, “The biggest part for me is [repairing] the exterior of LMK,” adding that she thought the district’s plan was well-prepared.
Parsons Memorial and Harrison Avenue schools will both undergo minor infrastructural repairs as well as major expansions, totaling about $11 million.
Parsons will see six new classrooms and a new cafeteria, as well as an elevator to bring the school closer to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Harrison Avenue will get four new classrooms, plus new bathrooms and a cafeteria expansion.
Wool said Harrison High School will see the creation of eight new classrooms will allow students to continue challenging themselves and filling their schedules with college-level classes. Expansions to the school’s guidance department, including a new guidance center, will help students plan for college and meet with representatives in a space designed for those types of interactions.
Purchase and Preston schools will also undergo slight infrastructural upgrades.