An unprecedented 46 percent of voters turned out Tuesday to defeat a proposed $24 million bond issue that would have funded expansion and upgrade projects in U.S.D. 248 facilities.

An unprecedented 46 percent of voters turned out Tuesday to defeat a proposed $24 million bond issue that would have funded expansion and upgrade projects in U.S.D. 248 facilities.
With a total of 1,766 ballots cast, voters by a more than 2-to-1 margin soundly defeated the first proposition on the ballot. The unofficial tallies counted 1,255 votes against and 490 votes in favor of proposition one. The second portion of the ballot was voted down by more than a 6-to-1 margin, 1,505 against to 242 in favor.
Proposition one called for general obligation bonds totaling $22 million and would have built new classrooms at R.V. Haderlein Elementary, Girard Middle School and Girard High School, added student lockers and a commons area, provided funding for a new football/track facility and financed construction of a student/community center with additional gymnasium space, locker rooms, weight room and meeting rooms.
Proposition two, totaling an additional $2.4 million, would have added an indoor swimming pool to the project.
“There’s a little bit of disappointment,” said superintendent Gary Snawder. “But you also have to respect what the voters want.
“We tried to get out and inform people as to what was going on. But the economy and all the questions, hopefully that was the reason for the lack of ‘yes’ voters.”
Snawder and several members of the U.S.D. 248 Board of Education were on hand for the count at the Crawford County Courthouse in Girard. Moments after the last ballots were counted, Snawder said they really hadn’t had time to think about their next steps.
“Right now, we have no plans,” He said. “We know we need these things but, how we come about that, I’m not sure.
“We’ll have to go back to the drawing board. It’s not something we just thought up to spend money.”
Voting got underway on time Tuesday and proceeded without any hitches, County Clerk Don Pyle said.
Pyle was out early, touring the various poling places to make sure they were ready for the voters. His main concern was making sure walkways and parking areas were cleared so people could make it into the poling places safely, he said.
“We haven't had any reports of any accidents,” Pyle said early Tuesday. “We had a couple of poll workers that weren't able to make it to their poling places, but I think we're going to be able to handle it.”
He had to call in one replacement poll worker to fill a vacancy, he said. But, other than that, polls ran smoothly throughout the day, with county road and bridge crews making sure the parking areas at poling places were passable.
Pyle thought early on the weather Tuesday would probably have an affect on voter turn-out. It did bring several people out to cast their ballots in early voting, which closed at noon on Monday.
By the time the early voting closed, Pyle said more than 150 ballots had been cast on Monday alone. The rush to beat the weather made for some hectic times in the small office.
“It taxed our office pretty heavily, but we were able to handle the crowds,” Pyle said Tuesday. “We ended up with about 155 people coming in and voting in the morning, which is a pretty good turnout in the office in just four hours.”
More than 400 early ballots were cast, according to the unofficial count Tuesday night. Overall, Pyle said he was surprised by the turnout.
“This was phenomenal voter turnout,” he said. “It blew me out of the water.
“For a single-issue election, that’s probably double what you’d expect to see as turnout. But there’s not another kind of election that affects people more directly, either.”
Results of the election won’t be official until the Board of Commissioners meet on Friday to canvass the vote. Pyle said there were about 20 provision ballots that will be reviewed at that time.