PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg school district’s proposed $67.6 million has bond failed
According to unofficial results released by Crawford County Clerk Don Pyle's office on Thursday, the preliminary total was 2,986 votes against and 2,172 votes for the bond issue, or 57.89 percent against to 41.11 percent for. The official results will be determined at the county commission meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. A total of 5,166 votes were cast, or a nearly 44 percent turnout.
Local resident Skip Urich had opposed the proposal since it was put forward by the school board in November. He is a member of the Vote No group.
“I think the voters have spoken,” Urich said. “They didn’t like the plan, it was a bad plan and too much money, it would have tore down the historic (front of the) middle school.”
Urich said this is not an “attack on education or the kids.” There are needs to address, he said, but thought some of the items were part of a “wish list.”
Dawn McNay, a member of Invest in Yes, said she was disappointed. The number was just “too high,” she said.
“The pieces that were addressed in the bond are right,” McNay said. “It was a good plan just a large plan.”
Superintendent of Schools Destry Brown said there is no “plan B.” But, he did say some of needs the bond would have addressed can not wait, such as the HVAC system at high school – estimated at $6.5 million.
Brown said the school board will look at ways to fund the HVAC system. Brown said one option is increasing the allowable mill rate for the capital outlay fund.
Brown said he was happy about voter turnout, noting he wanted the this to be a community decision. He said felt it was the right plan.
“Obviously, the community didn’t feel that way,” Brown said, adding “We need a plan in the future that everyone can support.”
Brown said educating students will continue as usual, but the district will need to figure out how to do more with less.
“Someone reminded me yesterday no matter of the outcome, we still have who we have and I will take that any day,” he said.
The proposal would have funded construction at each of the district’s six schools. Major construction would have been at the high school and middle school. The plan also called for storm shelters at each location.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.