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      Chapin parent says district deceiving voters

      CHAPIN (WACH) - A Chapin woman is challenging the legitimacy of a bond referendum passed by voters in the Lexington-Richland School District 5 last fall. The referendum allows the district to borrow money for construction of three new schools, and the renovation of seven existing schools.

      "The renovations to our existing schools are being cut back substantially, the voters don't know that, but the district is still moving forward with the new schools," says Kim Murphy.

      Murphy has two children at Chapin High School, and another that just graduated. Murphy claims the district downsized expansion plans at CHS, so it could justify building a new high school a few miles away.

      "The change in plans for the high school only had one purpose, and that was safety," says District 5 Spokesman Buddy Price. "We really did not want to build a third story in a high school, so the idea was to take that third story off, make the building safer," Price says.

      Murphy also claims the district is going ahead with construction of the new schools, even after studies show the district's population is declining. Price doesn't dispute that study.

      "We had discussions with our community about the fact that growth has flattened district wide, but there was still growth in the Chapin area, but aside from all that, there's still 2,000 students in portables all across the district," says Price.

      Meantime, Murphy is trying delay the district from expanding athletic fields at CHS onto some protecting wetlands behind the school. Price says any further delays will just drive up the cost of the project.