The Citizens for Great Schools Committee, the group promoting the Washington School District's ballot initiative, received two more endorsements this week.

The Washington Optimist Club and Core Restructuring Committee both endorsed the $65 million bond issue with a 46-cent property tax increase that will be on the April 3 ballot.

The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce and 353 Redevelopment Corporation also have endorsed the ballot proposal.

If approved, the district will build new facilities, make renovations and improve technology districtwide.

The campaign committee also made a presentation to the Washington Rotary Club Thursday and the group's executive committee will discuss a possible endorsement at its next meeting, according to Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer, who has been attending many of the presentations along with campaign representatives.

"I feel very good about the endorsements we've received and it seems people are understanding the complexity of our situation," she said. "At all of the presentations, there have been some really good questions."

VanLeer said she appreciates the efforts of the campaign committee's co-chairs, Brad Mitchell and John Freitag, who have been leading the charge in promoting the bond issue.

Many more presentations are planned, she added.

Public Forum Set

A public forum will be held Monday, March 12, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at South Point Elementary. This forum is open to anyone interested in learning more about the ballot issue and the district's long-range plans.

People who plan to attend are asked to contact Julie Bell at the district office, 636-231-2001, so school officials can make sure they have enough materials for all participants.

VanLeer said South Point was chosen as the location because it is one of the schools slated to be retired if the bond issue passes and a new elementary school is built. Fifth Street School also is proposed to close once the new school is built.

The new elementary school would serve kindergarten through fifth grade. A new middle school for sixth, seventh and eighth grades, also would be built. Both schools would be constructed on property the district owns off Highway 100, near St. John's Road.

Additionally, the district plans to build a new early childhood center which would house Parents as Teachers, all in-town preschools and early childhood special education on the Washington West Elementary campus. Improvement to the Washington West parking lot also is part of the plan.

Additionally, the district will renovate its existing Technology and Learning Center off Highway 47 for an alternative education center.

Other improvements are planned districtwide, including upgrading technology and adding computer labs.

The district plans to phase-in the 46-cent property tax increase over three years - 2013, 2014 and 2015, so patrons will not feel the full impact immediately.

For more information, people may visit Information also is featured on the school district's newly redesigned website.