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After several months of negotiations, the Grafton School District officially approved the final resolution for a referendum totaling $39.93 million for school district projects.

The Grafton Board of Education cast unanimous vote for the referendum at the board meeting on Jan. 23. Voters will have a chance to weigh in on the measure during the April 4 election.

According to Director of Business Services Topher Adams, much of the discussion to get to the final number was rooted in negotiations with the designers and developers hired for the district projects. Those projects include the tearing down of Grafton Elementary School, the expansions of Kennedy and Woodview Elementary Schools to accommodate the students from GES, and various renovations at other district schools.

"The referendum has been pretty much talked to death for months, so I'm glad that the board finally came together to agree on this one," said Adams. "The resolution was laid out in an open, detailed, and transparent format for everyone to see."

Other projects include renovations to the one-station gym at Grafton High School, as well as expansions of TechEd and special education classrooms. The referendum also calls for the construction of a new district maintenance building.

The last two months saw the district whittle down the referendum from the $47.7 million that was rejected by voters last year despite community surveys that showed support in favor of that number. The roughly $8 million difference, according to Adams, would have gone towards a three-station gym and further expansions to the aforementioned classrooms.

One project that was notably left off the approved referendum was the renovations to the athletic fields at Grafton High School, which would have cost just more than $1 million. Voters previously rejected the request to borrow roughly $1.8 million for these upgrades to outdoor physical education. With these costs removed from the referendum, the improvements to the athletic fields could still be implemented through either fund balance or borrowing funds under the limit.

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