Voter approval clears path for new GUSD facilities

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt

Globe voters sponsored the growth of Globe Unified School District #1 by voting yes on their ballots last Tuesday. The question of whether voters approved the lease of land and construction of GUSD school buildings came in as a majority effort, taking up 70.74% percent of the vote.

The land in question involves the school district’s current 20-year lease with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on 140 acres located either side of Highway 60 North, toward Show Low. The land, sitting between ADOT and Dream Manor Inn, was leased to GUSD in 2005, and according to GUSD Superintendent Jerry Jennex this lease was intended to secure the land for future school facility sites. Sadly, after High Desert Middle School was built in 2004 the area was hit by an early recession, causing  a limit on growth followed by further issues due to COVID. With various barriers preventing movement, the district was forced to hold off on its plans.

According to Jennex, the school board decided to consider building facilities on that site in 2021 after receiving funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. These funds were provided to schools as a way of offsetting the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. “Funds became available to build a new maintenance facility without asking taxpayers for additional funding,” said Jennex.

The school board consulted their attorney and found that they needed voter approval to move forward. “The next step is to work with BLM to secure approval to build on that site and seek to extend the current lease,” said Jennex.

Citizens can speculate that the future of the Globe School District lies on this land, with designs for growth illustrating the addition of possible recreational facilities.

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