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Referendums in the Hamilton School District

CFAC 2-Minute Videos: Referendums in the Hamilton School District

Over the Hamilton School District’s 60-year history, its enrollment has more than doubled, five entirely new buildings were constructed and dozens of addition-and-renovation projects were completed.

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At times, smaller projects were funded through the district’s operational budget, but when construction costs required the district to take on debt or operational costs were needed, referendums were held. This 2-minute video looks at the process of going to referendum and past results.

Before considering a referendum, the district convenes a Community Facilities Advisory Committee that reviews facility and financial data about the district. Various stakeholders, such as parents, local businesses, senior citizens, employees and community members comprise the committee. They are asked to review data and identify options to address the district’s needs. 

Several past committees have recommended that the School Board take no immediate action, but rather re-evaluate the situation at a later time.

In the past 30 years, however, the Hamilton School District has gone to referendum six times. While proposals for a swimming pool, an auditorium and operational costs were not always approved – each time the community had an opportunity to weigh in on a new school or classroom additions, they voted yes.

  • In 1992, voters approved a referendum to add on to Marcy Elementary School and construct a new gymnasium at Templeton Middle School.
  • In 1994, an extensive renovation-and-addition project for Lannon Elementary School and a science wing at the high school were approved.
  • In 1997, the construction of Woodside Elementary School, a new gymnasium for Maple Avenue Elementary School and classroom additions for Maple Avenue and Templeton were approved. In that same referendum, proposals for a fine arts center, swimming pool and operational costs for Woodside were rejected. One year later, operational costs for Woodside were approved.
  • In 2002, the fine arts center and a Marcy classroom addition was approved, however, the operational costs for the new fine arts center were not.
  • Finally, in 2018, voters approved the building of Silver Spring Intermediate School along with its operational costs as well as Hamilton High School addition-and-renovation projects.

Stay tuned for next week’s 2-minute video that will discuss the differences between referendums for capital improvements versus operational costs.