Amboy voters agree to levy increase for new junior high

November 7, 2018

AMBOY – Amboy Junior High School students will be getting new digs now that a referendum asking for $15.8 million to upgrade Amboy High School and create a new home for the junior high passed Tuesday.

The referendum passed with 52.6 percent of the vote, 1,089 to 983, according to unofficial election results.

The passage means bonds will be issued, and property owners will pay 88 cents more per $100 of equalized assessed value, or $239 a year more for a $100,000 home, to pay them off.

The nearly century old junior high at 140 S. Appleton Ave. is facing a growing list of needed and costly improvements and renovations, prompting school officials to seek the property tax increase.

“We’re very pleased with the results. I want to thank everyone who voted for and against it, we need their input but we couldn’t have done this without the KIDS 272 committee,” said Josh Nichols, Amboy’s superintendent.

KIDS 272 (Knowledge, Infrastructure, Development, Students) Committee was formed to educate the community on the referendum and the proposed upgrades to the school.

Plans call for adding about 54,000 square feet to the high school at 11 E. Hawley St. that will include a new gym, front entrance, art room and media center/library, as well as a two-story addition for the new junior high school that will have its own cafeteria, administration office and about 20 classrooms separate from the high school.

“There’s a lot of work to do and Amboy has always been very supportive of the schools and they showed that again,” Nichols said.

Construction will take about 2 years.

This was the second time the district has asked voters to pay for the upgrades. The first referendum failed by 53 votes on March 20, by a vote of 716 to 769.

The increase was caused by rising construction costs.

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