AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - On April 28, the City of Auburn will ask its residents permission to use existing 5-mill tax money to fund a new Auburn High School and renovate existing facilities.
"We are moving ahead without new high school plans and in order to do that the funding certainly was an issue and so the city has very graciously decided to reallocate funds," explains Superintendent, Dr. Karen DeLano.
The Auburn City Council approved the referendum at its meeting Tuesday, February 3.
To clear confusion, this is not a new tax, but one that has been in place since the 1940s.
"It is a fund we collect every year, but we can't spend it without the permission of the voters and so what we intend to do on April 28 is ask voters if we can issue bonds to build and new high school," says Auburn City Manager, Charlie Duggan.
If the vote passes, it would enable the city to use about $77 million dollars for the new and existing facilities.
The new high school has been estimated to cost $71 million and have a capacity of 2,200 students.
"We will be out of classroom space at the high school next year. We are looking at putting portables on campus to get us through into the new building," explains DeLano.
"One of the problems is if it doesn't pass we have to figure out where the money will come from because the new high school is needed and has to be built," says Duggan.
The rendering of the new school shows a three story academic wing that will include comprehensive career tech spaces. There will also be a fine arts center and multiple practice fields.
"We have to have the space. It is just real critical that we get this done,” says DeLano.
DeLano hopes construction will begin this summer and be completed by August of 2017.
Applications for absentee ballots are now available at City Hall.