Pine Island Community Pushing For a New School

Posted at: 04/05/2013 7:39 PM
Updated at: 04/05/2013 7:45 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- The Pine Island community is looking for ways to ease overcrowding. They've voted against building a new school three times in the last decade. But support at a recent public input meeting shows a change may be coming.

Building another school in Pine Island isn't a new idea, and failing to pass a school bond in recent years means the need for space hasn't changed.

"I have one son that's in 7th grade and he is in the portable classrooms the majority of the day,” said Nick Jorosinski of Pine Island.

Nick Jorosinski has two sons who go to Pine Island Public School and simply put, they're filled to the brim.

"Enrollment is just going up. I talked to someone I know the numbers are going up for kindergartners and I think that there is a need,” said Jorosinski.

"Our square foot per student is the lowest in the state,” said Kevin Cardille, Principal of Pine Island Senior High School.

This is the main reason why a new school was on the top of the list at a recent public input meeting. But with three failed public votes, this time around they are going about it differently. The idea behind a new school will be grassroots driven, where community members have the chance to provide input.

"I feel good about the fact that with people behind it and they feel the ownership from the start that I think it will have a better chance of going,” said Cardille.

In a survey that was given to community members, the majority of people said the school facilities need to be addressed and among 7 building options a new high school was the top pick.

"The majority of the people I know in town here are for it, I think there's a lot of positives. I also know there's you know drawbacks, I'm sure taxes will go up,” said Jorosinski.

"Obviously when it comes to voting 'yes' or 'no' is going to weigh heavily on any voters mind,” said Cardille.

While money is the number one reason the public hasn't voted for a new school, Nick Jorosinski says the entire community would benefit in the long run.

"I think that it would outweigh the, the pros would outweigh the cons,” said Jorosinski.

The bottom line is, school district leaders are hoping by getting more public input, the public will be more likely to be in favor of a referendum the next time it comes up for a vote.