With the highest voter turnout in four attempts, voters in the Pierce City R-6 School District approved two bond issues to build major additions to the school complex.
Voters had two bond issues to choose from, instead of one package combining both projects. The larger proposal received the widest margin of approval.
The $2.4 million bond issue to replace the middle school received 773 votes in favor (547 Lawrence County, 103 Barry, 123 Newton) to 357 against (259 Lawrence, 37 Barry, 61 Newton) for a majority of 68 percent. In the previous two elections, the proposition for both bonds combined received only 51 percent, short of the needed 57 percent to pass.
The second bond issue for $700,000 to build a new vocational-agriculture facility on the west side of the gymnasium passed with a 59 percent majority. Supporters garnered 658 votes (461 Lawrence, 92 Barry, 105 Newton), compared to 464 against (341 Lawrence, 48 Barry, 75 Newton). The margin was 18 votes over the needed 57 percent.
Total votes cast in the election was 1,130, compared to 1,083 on the last attempt in April 2010, 981 in November 2009 and 872 in April 2009, when the proposal only had 41 percent support.
"The school is excited about the opportunity to provide new facilities for our kids," said Superintendent Russ Moreland. "We're thankful to the people of Pierce City for voting this in."
Moreland said he would speak to architect Richard Werner and funding underwriters today. Once the board completes reorganization and certifies results of the election, Moreland expected the underwriters would begin securing financing and prices within the next two weeks. Werner will start work on specs for construction immediately.
"Things will start moving pretty quickly," Moreland added.