ATHENA - The Athena-Weston School District Building Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the district wait until November to put another construction bond measure on the ballot.

The group decided that there was not time to build support for the bond in the community.

"It gives us some more time, not just to get the message out but to decide what to do," said Terri Johnson, chairperson of the Building Committee.

In November, the district pursued a $12 million bond, which failed. This time they are looking at either a $3 million or $6 million bond, she said.

Committee member Bob Johns said he saw more support in the community for a $3 million bond "because times are tough and a lot of people are not doing as well today as yesterday."

Johnson said the district was looking at consolidating into two schools because it would help save operational costs. The district now has three schools, an elementary and high school in Athena and a middle school in Weston.

Superintendent Rick Hensel said that the savings would not mean the district could add programs but rather save some of the existing programs.

"We are right on the brink of having to make some cuts," he said.

Duane Thul suggested the committee create flyers outlining the cost savings incurred through consolidating the buildings.

"We need to know how much we will save if we go to two schools," he said.

The committee also asked for more direction from the School Board on what kind of building plan they would support and requested a cost estimate for an engineering survey of the Weston-McEwen High School before the next meeting.

The group will meet at 7 p.m. March 19 at the Weston Middle School Library.

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