Voters in the Riverside School District in Lake County will vote on Issue 5 on Election Day and decide the future of failing infrastructure there.
Elementary schools there are plagued with cracked paint, missing tiles and water damage just to name some of the problems. Many of the schools were built back in the ‘20s.
“I’ve seen where some schools have buckets in the classrooms where the water’s dripping,” said Bill Ross. He’s a teacher at the high school and has two kids in the system.
“It’s gotta be hard to stay focused sometimes when you have all those distractions around you,” he told us.
He’s voting for Issue 5 on November 8. If approved, the District will construct two larger elementary schools and close Hadden, Hale, Leroy and Madison Avenue elementary schools. They say it’s essentially less expensive to build new schools than to keep repairing issues with existing ones.
“We try and keep up with them, but financially it’s really, really hard to do that when the buildings are that old,” school board member Belinda Grassi told us.
“People see new schools, they want to come here, their property values go up. People want to come to a community where they support their schools,” Grassi said.
Those not in favor might not like the 1.92-mill bond levy costing tax payers $67.20 per year per $100,000 valuation. But most people we talked with see it as an important investment and are cheering on Issue 5.
“As someone who lives in this district, works in this district, I think it would be a great thing for the schools,” said Bill Ross.
If passed, district authorities say the newly constructed elementary schools could be ready to open in August of 2019.