- By Parker Perry Staff Writer
Northeastern voters approved a bond issue for new schools in the district on Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the Clark County Board of Elections.
The bond issue passed by a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, according to totals with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
“It feels great that our community supported our plan and it’s really a win for our community,” Superintendent John Kronour said.
The district asked voters to approve a 37-year, $79 million bond issue that would build two pre-K-through-12th-grade buildings in the district. One building would be constructed on the Kenton Ridge side of the district, and the other would be built on the Northeastern side.
The state will contribute about $40 million to the project, bringing the total cost to $119 million. Passage of the bond will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $295 a year.
Kronour said now that the bond is passed it’s time for the district to get to work to prepare to build the schools.
“Next up for us is to start really working on the planning stage,” Kronour said. “We will get with the (state school construction association) to get everything in place for them and then we will start working with the staff and the community to plan the layout for the new schools.”
Virtually the same bond issue was presented to voters in November and rejected. The school asked for $2 million in additional funds this time around for construction cost increases and a mandate that requires the district to build a storm shelter.
A lot of people came together to pass the bond issue, Kronour said.
“We had a really good group of people working to get information out,” he said. “I want to give all the credit to the volunteers that did anything to help.”
Northeastern parent Chrisdee Rastatter said Tuesday that passing the bond was important.
“We are so excited and thankful for all of the supporters that went out and supported our schools,” she said. “We are more than thrilled.”
One of the reasons the bond issued passed was because it focused on important education issues, Rastatter said.
“We hit on school safety, class sizes, small schools, technology, all of those things are important and strong schools make strong communities,” she said.
People against the bond issue listed a number of reasons why they were against the bond issue. But the two major reasons were the cost of the bond to property owners and the decision to build two schools including high schools instead of one.
“I do not agree with two high schools,” voter Dian Lemaster-Holland said previously. “I could support one new high school, one new elementary/middle in South Vienna and an elementary/middle school moving into the KR building.”
Also, the length of the bond issue was concerning, Lemaster-Holland said.
“I do not agree with a 37-year bond issue,” Lemaster-Holland said. “Who has a 37-year mortgage anymore?”
School leaders had noted electrical infrastructure safety concerns and HVAC problems in the current buildings.
“I really feel this is a step forward,” Kronour said.