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Gretna voters approve bond issue for second high school

Gretna voters approve bond issue for second high school

Aaron Sanderford recaps what we know as polls close and what to watch for tonight.

Residents of the Gretna Public Schools approved a $258 million bond referendum Tuesday, the district’s biggest ever.

The money will build and equip a second high school, a middle school and an elementary school.

The bond issue also will pay to build an indoor competition pool for school and community use, as well as improvements across the district.

Kevin Svec, a member of the Gretna KIDS committee advocating passage, said the margin was similar to prior bond issues.

“Voters of the school district have always supported these bond issues. We were confident that would happen again, but it’s still nice to see the results come out election night that do reflect it,” Svec said.

The high school is expected to open in fall 2023. The new elementary school, the district’s eighth, will open in fall 2024, and the district’s third middle school in fall 2025.

Through a previous bond issue, the district purchased land southwest of 180th Street and Cornhusker Road for the second high school. It would sit on a campus with the existing Aspen Creek Middle School and Aspen Creek Elementary School.

A second high school means exciting times ahead, even though the new high school is still three years out, he said.

“It just takes that long to bring a facility like that out of the ground, and get everything set up for it, but it will be exciting times for Gretna, for sure,” he said.

Opponents had argued that the district’s frequent bond issues were overwhelming taxpayers, making it unaffordable to live in the district.

They argued that the high school was too expensive — $139.5 million — higher than what other school districts had spent recently.

And they felt the district was overstating the need for the new facilities.

Schools officials said the bond issue will increase the district’s bond levy by 7.3 cents. The owner of a home valued at $200,000 will pay an additional $145.36 a year in property taxes.

Nebraska on Election Day 2020, 402-444-1077

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Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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