The Princeton School Board approved sending a referendum for up to $68 million in renovations to the district at its July 20 meeting.

Come Nov. 2 Princeton residents vote on a referendum that consists of two questions for updating and improving the Princeton School District’s facilities. The first question would approve a total of $55.24 million in improvements to the high school, intermediate school and student services building. A second $12.9 million question would add an activities and community center at the existing high school.

“Every student will eventually attend our high school,” Superintendent Ben Barton said in a statement from the district. “It is the flagship of our district, and we want to continue to be proud of it for generations to come. The world has changed. Our schools were built in the industrial era for rows of desks and teacher lectures. Our students need to be prepared for a modern workforce that emphasizes teamwork and technology in every job. That requires more up-to-date spaces for hands-on real-world learning. We’ve also learned during the last year the need to have enough space for all our students, and the importance of proper indoor air quality for health and safety—both are addressed in this plan.”

If passed, question one would fund renovations to the core areas of the high school. It would expand classroom size, renovate the media center, add space to shops for skilled trade and add room for activities such as weightlifting.

It would also increase space in cafeterias in the high school, intermediate school and student services building. High School Principal Barb Muckenhirn pointed out during a tour of the building with Union-Times staff that the current cafeteria requires students to form complicated lines to get food and requires students to find seating in hallways due to a lack of room.

Much of the final design would be hammered out with input from community stakeholders after the vote, if the referendum passes, according to Barton.

Question two focuses entirely on funding and activities and community center addition at the high school. It would include additional gym space for students and community members to use as well as an indoor walking track and meeting rooms for community use, according to the district.

Question one is expected to increase property taxes for the average homeowner by about $13 a month. If both questions pass, that impact is expected to be closer to $18 per month, according to the district.

More information on the referendum can be found under the referendum tab at the district’s website.

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