MELROSE - Melrose schools have scheduled a $25.7 million referendum on May 26th to update and expand their facilities.

A two-part question will be put on the ballot. The first asks for $24.9 million towards construction, plus $800,000 in bonding costs. Superintendent Tom Rich says updates are needed because classrooms are full and can't accommodate future growth.

"In our K-12 building we really have no free classrooms that we can use, we're maxed out. In our elementary we're going to add six early childhood-kindergarten rooms."

Studies project a 10 percent student population increase in the district over the next decade. The second question on the ballot would be contingent on the first question passing and would be for construction of a gym with a walking track for student and community use.

Question one would increase property taxes on a home valued at $150,000 by $18 per month ($216 a year). Question two would increase taxes on the same home by $3 per month ($36 per year).

Included in the improvements if question one passes: new agriculture and auto shop classrooms, a new pool, a new two-station gym and two tennis courts.

"With our ag program, we're looking at building a classroom with a greenhouse attached to it. Our auto shop right now-kids go across the driveway and there's a small classroom there. So, we'd be building a new shop," Rich says.

On the Melrose school website, school board member Pat Heller says the project has been pared back to address "only needs, not wants." The district says they held over 30 meetings to mold the process.

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