PERRY, Iowa — The Perry community is voting on a $6.5 million bond referendum Tuesday. That money would go toward renovating and expanding both athletic and academic parts of Perry High School.
Christian Simmons, a Perry High School student, said industrial tech classes helped him to enjoy the school day a lot more.
“I have always been interested in cars. I’ve liked them since I was little and I feel like this is a good way to get into that. I like how we can work on the engines and our classroom is a relaxed setting. It’s not like a formal classroom, and we get to get our hands dirty in school,” Simmons said.
Industrial tech teachers and students are hoping to expand the program and the space they work in, which they’ll be able to do if voters approve the bond referendum.
“Even before the bond was even brought up, a lot of the things we do here cost a lot of money. So we have a lot of support from the community, just doing the projects that we do already on a daily basis. Whether it be giving back to the community, research and design for alternate mileage car sponsorships and things like that, [the community] has already over the years been a huge supporter of us to do all of those things, so when the bond added to that, [we] definitely feel the support behind the community,” said Chad Morman, a Perry High School industrial tech teacher.
Perry Schools Superintendent Chad Wicks said the industrial tech classroom spaces were built in 1965 and haven’t changed much since.
“I have a small engine class going on right now so we kind of have to move stuff to one side of the room while we do that. And then my next class will be an automotive class. We’ve got to move things around to be able to work on the cars more effectively. So with with the new building, we’re going to have eight bays instead of two and a half. There’ll be a separate small engines lab, as well as an automotive lab, so we don’t have to move those things around so we could more effectively teach a lot easier than we can right now,” said Curt Cornelius, a Perry High School industrial tech teacher.
The bond referendum money would also go toward a new multipurpose wrestling gym attached to Perry High School.
The current wrestling gym is not attached to the school and does not have much space for parents to watch.
“We would have a boys and a girls locker room. We would have enough space for kids and middle school kids to all wrestle at the same time. We would have space to jump rope. We would have spaces for people to observe. It would be a huge upgrade. We would have that room adjacent to the high school, connecting to it. So then we could utilize it for a number of other programs whether it be cheerleading, the flagline, kids that maybe have special needs can utilize that room. So it would be a huge upgrade for us,” Wicks said.