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Clark-Shawnee $37M bond passed for new, renovated schools, what’s next?

The Clark-Shawnee Local School District is preparing to take its next steps after its $37 million dollar bond issue passed last week.

The Clark County Board of Elections reported 2,948 residents voted on the Clark-Shawnee Bond Issue in the 2017 August Special Election.

About 55 percent voted in favor of the bond and close to 45 percent were against it.

RELATEDClark-Shawnee residents approve school construction issue

The bond issue was for 5.3 mills for 37 years and will cost the owner of a $100,000 house a little more than $15 a month.

The state will provide an additional $15 million toward the project now that the bond has passed. The district attempted to pass the exact same bond issue two times before and failed. If voters had rejected the issue the money from the state would have no longer be guaranteed.

That is why Clark County Voter Donna King voted yes.

“I think it’s important for people to understand this isn’t about salaries anything really to do with compensation of employees at the system, it’s simply about providing the facilities,” King said.

The bond will build a new pre-k through 6th-grade building across the street from Shawnee High School.

“Those two schools will share P.E. gymnasium facilities. They will be able to share the food services facilities. They’ll be able to share computer laboratories,” Superintendent Gregg Morris, Clark-Shawnee Local School District, said.

Currently, the district has three elementary schools: Rockway, Possum, and Reid.

RELATED:Clark-Shawnee special election seeks $37M for new, renovated schools

The cost of the new building and renovating the high school would be $52.8 million, with local tax payers picking up $37.2 million of that bill.

Alan Brown lives near Rockway School. He voted against the bond.

“I don’t believe the schools are in near bad as shape as they claim to be. I know they need renovating and such but I think a 37-and-a-half-year levy is a little bit extreme,” Brown said.

He also says he doesn’t think people understood the bond and that it will eventually hurt the Rockway area.

Superintendent Gregg Morris is happy the bond finally passed. There is a significant need he said.

“Our current elementary buildings average over 92 years in age,” Morris said.

The district has worked to keep them up but Morris said it can’t keep them maintained. There are too many structural and safety issues. Not spending that money in future will allow the district to save money.

“We’ve been spending three to five hundred thousand dollars a year, each year, to keep these old buildings operating,” Morris said.

The three elementary schools will continue operating in the meantime but after the new facilities are built its futures are uncertain.

“There is money within the budget to tear them down,” Morris said. “That’s to ensure these buildings will not sit and deteriorate in our community.”

It will take about three to four years for the renovations at the high school and for the new buildings to be complete.

The next step for the district is to meet with the state to discuss how it will use the money.

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