11/4/2013 11:58:00 AM Proposed school at forefront of upcoming Byron area meetings
By David Richards
Superintendent Jeff Elstad, along with members of the Byron school board, is making his rounds to Byron and its surrounding communities to inform the public about the district's proposed new school and a possible upcoming referendum.
At its Sept. 16 meeting, the school board unanimously voted in favor of a new school to house pre-kindergarten through second grades that would potentially open in 2016 at an estimated cost of just more than $24 million.
The move is an attempt to meet the district's need for new space, in addition to preparing for future growth.
A potential timeline for the new school, in addition to an updated cost of the project and potential impact to tax payers, is expected at an upcoming board meeting, with a bond vote likely set for early next year.
Elstad has already made presentations to residents in Kalmar and Salem townships and to the Byron Chamber of Commerce.
Byron meetings are slated for Nov. 12 and Nov. 21 with more likely next year as well.
The new school, which would be built on the same site as Byron Elementary, would open two years following the start of all-day, everyday kindergarten, which the board also approved Sept. 16.
All-day everyday kindergarten will begin for Byron Public Schools during the 2014-2015 school year.
Resident enrollment has increased by 5.8 percent in Byron over the past 10 years and is projected to increase another 16.7 to 20.3 in the next decade.
In September, Elstad reported that enrollment was up this year by 47 students at 1,894 districtwide.
There's also a seven percent increase in resident enrollment compared with a four percent decrease in non-resident enrollment.