20180410_new_gretnaschoolconstru (copy)

Construction in 2017 of a new Gretna elementary school near the intersection of Lincoln Road and 188th Street.

Building a new elementary school and renovating an old one will be the first priorities now that voters in Gretna Public Schools approved an $85 million bond issue Tuesday, the superintendent said.

The bond issue is the largest ever passed in Gretna schools.

The district's sixth elementary will be built in the northernmost reaches of the district, Superintendent Kevin Riley said.

The site could be announced within a week, he said.

And Gretna Elementary School will be renovated.

"We're just grateful that we'll have classroom space for all the children we have," Riley said. "That's the key to this whole thing for us."

In addition to substantially boosting classroom space at the elementary level, the bond issue will expand and spruce up the district’s athletic stadium, add on to the high school and buy land for future school sites.

Riley said the campaign committee did a good job of getting information out to the community. The community recognized the need, he said.

"We have great support in all of our programming, whether it be academic, athletic or activity, and this is just another indicator of that," he said.

Passage means a property tax increase: 3 cents per $100 of valuation — or $45 on a $150,000 house.

Brad Stauffer, chair of the pro-bond committee, said the community has always been supportive of the school district.

"I think they want all the best for the kids," he said. "And they know that having a great education for our kids is good for the community and keeps the community strong and growing."

Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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