On Monday night, the Board of Education met to discuss the possibility of building more facilities to accommodate the rising student population in the school district. The two and a half hour meeting was close to getting out of hand, as even members of the 152 person audience got involved in the heated debates. The subject opened with a report from superintendent Arlene A. Dunlap. She stated that student enrollment in the district was up eighteen percent from last year.
"This is disturbing because we are running out of space in our classrooms and education is suffering because of it." She exclaimed. Dunlap asked the board to approve a 3. 3 million dollar building program that would provide the district with two new elementary school and a new junior high school. One of the elementary schools would be built on the west side of town, the other on east side, and the junior high school would be built in the central part of town.
Ellen Massey, of the board, contributed her opinion, stating that "clearly, quite clearly, we need these new schools. We are fifty years behind the times in this town." Jack Armstrong responded by shouting, "This is a complete waste of taxpayers money! !" President Hammond interjected, telling Armstrong that he was out of order, but she was hushed by members of the audience demanding that he be heard. "let him speak," they muttered. When senior class president Kimberly Hawkins was asked to comment on the issue, she impartially stated, "sounds good to me... ." The board finally came to a conclusion when they voted 4-2 in favor of placing the issue on the November general election ballot.
Hammond, George Bailey, Massey, and Ramon Chavez voted in favor of placing the issue on the ballot, whereas Armstrong and Verne Shes tak were opposed to doing so.