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Voters: Yes! HHS to get its facelift

Posted on 4/8/2015, 1:15 AM

It was no landslide victory, but voters decided Harrisburg High School needs a facelift and approved the referendum for a $15 million bond issue to be paid off with school facility tax money.

The money will fund the reconstruction of C building housing Bonnell Gym, the cafeteria and science labs and the renovation of A and B buildings.

High School Principal Karen Crank was elated as she and Vote Yes for HHS Committee Member Jose Durbin examined the final vote tally and hit their phones to share the news.

The vote was 1,500 or 57 percent for and 1,110 or 42 percent against.

"It"s a great day for the Harrisburg school district," Crank said.

"Our students won a huge victory tonight."

Crank said she was not surprised that voters supported the measure.

"I had a good feeling going in. I felt we were well organized and felt we had a much better plan than the last time," Crank said.

In the April of 2013 election a referendum for a newly constructed school was before voters and was defeated.

"This did not put the burden of paying on the taxpayer. It is through sales tax, so it"s a win for everybody," Crank said.

Volunteers supporting the referendum campaigned aggressively for voter approval distributing T-shirts, hosting open houses at the school, giving presentations to organizations and writing many letters to the editor. Those for and against the referendum created dueling social media sites that led to much spirited debate.

"I can"t thank the people enough who have worked on this," Crank said.

Electrical aggregation

Harrisburg voters decided they are happy with their electricity rates as they are.

The referendum asking if the city enter into an electrical consortium to get a lower electricity rate failed.

There were 918 or 59 percent no votes and 638 or 41 percent yes votes.