Batavia school district still awaiting referendum results

H.C. Storm Elementary School in Batavia

The Batavia school district still doesn’t know if its $140 million facilities referendum was passed in last week’s general election.

“As of right now, 50.09% of the public said ‘no,’ and 49.91% of the public said ‘yes’ ,” said Superintendent Lisa Hichens at the Nov. 15 school board meeting. “There’s a difference of 25 votes between them.”

Hichens said that a final word on the referendum will come after mail-in ballots are finished counting on Nov. 22.

“If it does turn out that there are more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’s,’ then the board will have to have a discussion in December and we will be brining you some feedback and probably a recommendation for you to consider,” Hichens said.

Hichens said that the board would use focus groups and surveys to gather public feedback if the referendum is voted down.

“We don’t have a lot of leeway in writing that question,” she said. “When you read it on the ballot, it wasn’t very obvious what we were asking for because we were asking for money to upgrade our facilities and there would be no increase to the bond and interest tax levy, but that part wasn’t in the question. We’re not allowed to put that in the question.”

Hichens said that the board could consider putting the question on the ballot again in the spring election, should it fail.

“You would have to vote on that no later than Jan. 17,” Hichens said.

The $140 million referendum would make changes across district facilities, including the demolition and replacement of H.C. Storm and Louise White elementary schools, according to meeting documents.