INDIANAPOLIS — With more students enrolling in Franklin Township schools, the district says it needs to renovate its aging high school and build an addition for more space.
The proposal is named "Growing to Meet the Future" and calls for an expansion and renovation of Franklin Central High School.
It also accounts for renovations at six Franklin Township Elementary Schools:
- Acton Elementary ($887,846)
- Arlington Elementary ($759,236)
- Bunker Hill Elementary ($912,446)
- Mary Adams Elementary ($446,311)
- South Creek Elementary ($361,543)
- Thompson Crossing Elementary ($730,571)
The proposal would raise property taxes for those living in Franklin Township and has some residents concerned.
The average home value in Franklin Township is $190,000. If passed, property taxes would increase by about $15.50 a month, or $186 annually.
"It's hurting people like us, the older people. Why raise taxes, property taxes for people like me to help pay for something that I have nothing to do with? "People like my wife and I are retired, we're on a fixed income," said longtime Franklin Township resident David Sisk.
Sisk added he simply can't afford a tax increase. "Yeah it's not that much, but you keep adding that up, all these little things and there you go," he said.
Other residents have different opinions. Jill Bridgewater is also a longtime township resident and has a daughter that currently works in the middle school. She supports the referendum, and said she has seen first hand the improvements that need to be made."As a single mom. I know that having any kind of upping in our income that would take away from what we have. It stinks, but it's growth. And with growth comes improvement and if that's what it takes then that's what we need to do," she said.
The district says growing enrollment and aging facilities are some of their concerns and adding a delay in addressing those issues will mean higher costs down the road.
"Just seeing what is in her classroom, and how many kids are crammed in there and the improvements that do need done to all of the schools. I definitely think it is a great idea. If these kids are all going to benefit, yeah it may not be my kids right now, but my kids benefited from it some time ago when we had the referendums. Somebody else's kid definitely deserves that," said Bridgewater.
The referendum will be discussed at tonight's board meeting. The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and public comment will be allowed.
A final vote will happen at the December 13th board meeting. If the board decides to vote for the referendum, it will be placed on the May 2022 primary ballot.