Voters of bonding District 6 overwhelming voted to extend the 29 mill property tax by another five years to improve Webster Parish schools.
Webster Parish School Board Member Linda Kinsey thanked the voters for supporting their schools.
“It will be a good thing for our children, our schools and our community,” she said. “There are some things that need to be done, and without the proposition passing I’m not sure they would get done.”
Board member John Madden says the plan itself is sound; however, he did not necessarily agree with the amount of money being spent on the project. He is grateful to the voters for passing the proposition so the board can take care of its children.
“I’m appreciative of the voters who have enough confidence in the board to put together a thought-out project that will be good for the kids of Webster Parish,” he said. “Obviously, I have grave concerns about the fewer number of classrooms at Phillips, but hopefully the bid will come back in such a fashion that we could have some alternates to at least add a few more classrooms.”
The proposition will fund $7 million in capital improvement projects to J.A. Phillips Middle School and Webster Junior High School to accommodate kindergarten and first grade students and closing J.E. Harper Elementary School.
Voting for the proposition was 2,208, or 59 percent; against were 1,507, or 41 percent. In absentee voting, 923, or 63 percent, voted in favor of the proposition, and 542, or 37 percent voted against.
The proposition calls for a five year extension on a 20-year 29 mill ad valorem tax in bonding district 6, which will fund improvements to Phillips and WJHS. The idea is to build an additional wing onto Phillips and move the kindergarten and first grade students there with pre-K. Nine additional classrooms and renovations to the existing facility will take place to be age appropriate.
The sixth graders now at Phillips will be moved to WJHS into a new wing, which will include a gymnasium/multipurpose room.