|
|
|
The Carthage Press
  • Voters say yes to $18 million bond issue

  • A stressful day of waiting for Carthage school district officials ended with an audible sigh of relief as voters overwhelmingly said yes to the district's $18 million proposal to address a growing student population.
    • email print
      Comment
  • A stressful day of waiting for Carthage school district officials ended with an audible sigh of relief as voters overwhelmingly said yes to the district's $18 million proposal to address a growing student population.
    The final results in Tuesday's election had 1,303 Carthage school district voters saying yes to the bond issue and 642 saying no.
    The measure got 67 percent yes votes, far exceeding the 57.1 percent needed.
    "We are so appreciative of the Carthage voters and support with our school district and our excellent administration, faculty and staff," said Carthage Board of Education President Lee Elliff Pound. "This just echoes the support of the board toward that goal of how wonderful the school district is."
    Passage means the district can move forward with construction of a new fourth and fifth grade school building at Chapel and Fir roads and renovations that will add classrooms, a library/media center, cafeteria and new gymnasium and safe room to the current Carthage Middle School so it can be used as a junior high.
    The new buildings will allow the district to move the fourth grades out the five neighborhood elementary schools so they have more space to accommodate the growing student population at the lower grades.
    "This has been a vert exciting day," said Superintendent Blaine Henningsen. "We have been watching the polls as the day has proceeded and we're just thrilled to death that the voters have joined with us in this endeavor."
    Supporters of the measure formed a committee that funded signs and ads urging voters to vote yes.
    "All the people on the committee who helped get signs out, get the word out, make speaking presentations, it's been a great community effort," Pound said.
    Henningsen said the district has been reaching out to patrons to see what they would support and what the patrons want out of their school district.
    "When we started Carthage 2020 a couple of years ago, our objective has been to be the number one school district in Southwest Missouri in terms of student achievement and facilities and patron satisfaction and this is a big step in that direction," Henningsen said. "This is a big move and this is going to be a great, great thing for our students and our teachers and for our community as a whole. It's just a great day."
    Henningsen said the district has responded to patrons wishes by building facilities without going to taxpayers, then proposing a bond issue that did not require raising the district's property tax levy when it finally came down to needing voter support.
    "To me it sounds like we're doing the right things," Henningsen said. "The patrons are satisfied with the direction the school district is going, they are supportive of our plans and they understand why we're doing what we're doing and that's very important for us. We want to make sure people have a clear understand of what we're trying to get done and the direction we're going. We want to be very transparent in what we're doing with our finances and with our planning for the future and again, this is just the first step in moving to make us the number one school district in Southwest Missouri."
    Page 2 of 2 - School board election
    In other election results, the three incumbent school board members handily defeated two challengers to win new three-year terms.
    With five people competing for the seats, the top three vote-getters would be elected.
    Elizabeth Streich came in first with 1,404 votes; Jeff Jones came in second with 1,241 votes; Tony Diggs was third with 1,214 votes; Jennifer Lambeth received 844 votes and Kent Hogan received 504 votes.
    The board will meet again in public session at 6 p.m. on April 21, at which time, the election will be certified and accepted and the board will reorganize and vote for president, vice president, secretary and treasurer for the coming year.
          • »  EVENTS CALENDAR