Push on for $5.28M Chamberlain events centerSchool district voters to decide bond issue in Nov. 6 election.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
CHAMBERLAIN — Proponents of an events and fine arts center in Chamberlain are busy advocating for the project ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
Residents of the Chamberlain School District will vote on a $5.28 million bond issue, which would help fund the addition of a multi-purpose events center onto the Chamberlain school.
The proposed center would cost $13.18 million for 53,000 square feet, including an auditorium, a gymnasium, walking track, weight room and full handicap accessibility. The auditorium would seat 500 and the gym would seat 2,500.
The Chamberlain Events and Fine Arts Center Steering and Publicity committees held the first community information meeting Oct. 4.
The project will be funded by the school district, the proposed bond issue, a Barger Foundation Grant and private contributions.
“The presentation went well, there were questions from the audience, but there wasn’t as high of a turnout as we would have liked,” Superintendent Debbie Johnson said.
Johnson said it’s likely most people feel informed about the project since the idea has been around for a significant amount of time. Those who attended the informational meeting supported the project and wanted to help out, she said.
Johnson said the steering and publicity committees have volunteers who will help at public information meetings.
Neighborhood groups, Extension groups and service clubs have already requested meetings.
“We’ve had several requests already. We’ve had students who want to know more, so we’ll meet with staff and high school students,” Johnson said. “It could be a good lesson for a government class for seniors, who are most likely of age to vote.”
Any sessions the district holds specifically to inform the staff and students about the events and fine arts center will be held prior to or after school, or during lunch hour, Johnson said.
A neighborhood canvass group will also visit with registered voters about the election, inform unregistered voters about registering to vote, and do door-to-door and telephone campaigns.
“It’s not going to get to the point where we’re going to have people upset with the number of calls,” Johnson said. “We’re going to strategically do registration and door-to-door and telephone calls.”
The committees also have the challenge of reaching as many rural residents as possible. Groups will also visit the Crow Creek Indian Reservation and surrounding area, as many children from there attend the Chamberlain School District.
Johnson is hopeful the voters will pass the bond. However, she admits there is a lot of work left before Nov. 6.
“The most important thing now is to educate people what the project is really about and how it can benefit the Chamberlain/Oacoma area,” she said.