MORRIS – Kids at Saratoga Elementary will soon be able to eat with a little more style. On Tuesday, residents of Saratoga School District 60C approved a $10 million bond referendum that will allow for a new combination auditorium and cafeteria, among other improvements to the school.
Speaking with still three precincts in Grundy County left to report, but with the referendum already having a sizable lead, Saratoga superintendent Kathy Perry was optimistic that the $10.3 million referendum would pass.
"I'm feeling awesome," she said. Her team had figured the referendum would need 800 votes in order to pass, but voter turnout was far more than anyone expected.
As superintendent, she was unable to campaign for the referendum, but a team of eight volunteers came together, formed the committee, and did the walking and door knocking necessary for the referendum to success, Perry said.
The bond referendum was asking for money to be able to build a combined auditorium and cafeteria space with a kitchen, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) facilities, a learning resource center (library) and additional classrooms.
Design work can begin immediately, Perry said, with architects talking to teachers students and other people in the school that will be affected by the proposed construction.
"Our goal is to break ground in the fall of 2019," Perry said.
Votes in Grundy County were 1,786 in favor against 630 against. A small portion of the Saratoga district lies in Kendall County, but no votes were cast in that area on the referendum.
The district has said that there won't be any change in taxes because of several new developments. Between using money from tax increment financing, the new development at Axo Nobel and the Costco meat packing plant coming online, tax payers would not have to add any extra to cover the bonds.
"I think the fact that we can do this without asking for a tax increase helped," Perry said.