Voters To Approve Millage Increase For New High School

CLARKSVILLE (KFSM) - More students are going to high school in Clarksville each year, but the district has been using the same building since 1971. This has led to overcrowding issues throughout the entire school district.

The fate of the new high school is in the hands of the voters on Tuesday (Sept. 20) as the community will vote on a millage increase. The school district hasn't seen one in the past 14 years. However, they said the need is there.

More than 500 students attend Clarksville High School and more than 2,000 kids are in the entire school district.

"We need more space and need the high school to be able to spread out and let our kids get the education that they need," said Angie Reeder, who lives in Clarksville.

The biggest issue is during lunch hour. Kids have run out of spaces to eat their lunch because the cafeteria is simply too small. They've had to expand lunch tables to the stage which is also shared for a Spanish class. They have even taken lunch tables to the lobby near the school office for more space.

School officials are asking the community for a 4.8 millage increase. This combined with $4.6 million from the state will total around $20 million, which will go toward building a new and spacious high school. However, the money from the state would go away if a millage increase doesn't pass.

"The whole point in this millage is to eliminate the overcrowding issues, "said Superintendent David Hopkins. "Not only in the high school but in the middle school and the elementary school."

If it gets passed, plans for the new high school would start immediately. The new building will be located near the primary school and will hold 10th-12th grades.

To find out how much your property taxes would go up, contact the county assessor to ask about the value of your home. Multiply that number by .20, and take that number and multiply by .001, which is equal to one mill. Multiply that answer by 4.8 (the millage increase Clarksville wants), and that answer will tell you how much of an increase you would see you millage rate. If you own a $100,000 home, for example, you would see a $96 increase in your millage rate.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 20).