FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Voters in the Metropolitan School District of Wabash County will head to the polls in November to vote on whether they want to consolidate two high schools in the area.

During a public meeting Wednesday night, community members learned that if the $115,000,000 project is approved, it would increase the tax rate from $0.83 cents to $1.34.

The district would build a new high school and repurpose the current junior/senior high schools.
The new high school would combine students currently in grades 9-12 at Northfield and Southwood. The current Northfield and Southwood Junior/Senior High school buildings would transition into buildings for pre-school through 8th grade.

Addressing why ‘now’ is the right time for the project, a post on the district’s website says “Our district’s strong assessed valuation coupled with the current historically low bond market makes now a good time to pursue this project. Interest rates and construction costs will continue to rise so acting now will help ensure the lowest costs possible.”

This has been talked about for years, and while some are for it, others don’t think it’s the right move right now.

“We went into this with an open mind. We weren’t a hard yes or a hard no, maybe even leaning more towards no. But, we attended a meeting and the school board has done a phenomenal job of researching and giving just giving very open information and they’ve proven that they’re trustable,” said Maria Marshall.

“It’s nice to look at building a new school and everything, but I think right now with where inflation is and the cost of goods and the way people are struggling right now having that type of a tax increase is something I wouldn’t want to put on the people right now. I think there are other options to explore and be looked into,” said Michael Rigney.

The referendum will be voted on Nov. 8.

Two additional public meetings will be held in the coming weeks:

  • Saturday, Oct. 8 at 9 a.m. at Northfield Jr/Sr High School
  • Saturday, Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Somerset Community Building

To learn more about the referendum, click HERE.