Voters to decide referendum to pay for new high school

Voters in Alexandria will decide Tuesday whether to approve a tax raise to pay for a new, $65 million high school.

The building would replace Jefferson High School and be built on land the district bought a few years ago.

Superintendent Terry Quist said he understands the higher taxes would be difficult for some families, given the current economy. He hopes voters will recognize the need to replace the aged Jefferson High, which first opened in 1957, with a modernly-equipped school.

"Education and facilities design has changed over the years and (Jefferson High) hasn't been able to keep up with that. Quist said. "We find ourselves undersized in terms of space inside the building.

"And as we move outside the building, we have about a 45-acre footprint there. and it's more and more difficult to have space for physical education or other activities."

If the referendum is approved, owners of a $175,000 house could expect to see their property taxes go up by about $126 a year.

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