MINOOKA – For the second time in less than a year, residents voted down multi-million dollar referendum from Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201. Voters said no to a $50 million bond referendum for a new 5-8 school by 821 votes, according to the unofficial tally Tuesday night.
The push for the referendum, and the new school, was due to an increase in population in the district. Fifth and six grade classes have grown by more than 100 students each since the 2011-2012 school year.
Immediately, nothing will change at the district. Superintendent Kris Monn said that even if the referendum had passed, it would take two summers to build the new school and so the district was preparing for continued overcrowding next year.
The next step is meeting with the board.
"We need to gauge what the community will support," Monn said. He said the district had received feedback from the community questioning if they enrollment numbers were accurate or with concerns over the amount of debt in the district. Monn said the district pays it's debt on time.
It's not just space the district is worried about. Minooka Junior High School Principal Sarah Massey has said she worries teachers will leave because of the increased class sizes.
On March 6, voters were against a proposed $90 million bond that would have meant two new schools, and additions to two existing schools. The Nov. 6 referendum for $50 million was for the intermediate school, It would be located on Seil Road in Shorewood.
Monn said the board will have to make some decisions quickly. If they are going to try for another referendum, the next ballot it can be on is the April 2019 ballot. But after that, there isn't another election until March of 2020.
There had been no discussion yet about those elections because the board wanted to see how Tuesday's vote went.
Minooka 201's boundaries cover parts of three counties. Kendall County voters voted in favor of the referendum, while Will and Grundy voters voted against.