The Winside community has passed a $14.6 million bond issue for its public school system after voting in a special election that ended Tuesday night.
The Winside Public Schools district received a total of 461 votes, with 341 supporting the bond issue and 120 against it, said Superintendent Andrew Offner.
“The 74% support rate was amazing,” Offner said. “In any election, you want it over 50%, but you are hoping for more support like that and I think it really shows that we had support from the community.”
The bond issue will include renovations to the elementary and high school, which date back to 1968. It was introduced after several years of conversations about the degrading condition of the buildings and surrounding facilities.
A $4.8 million renovation will fix structural repair, improve accessibility and upgrade many systems. A $9.8 million construction will build five to seven more classrooms, plus labs, support spaces, offices and more.
The construction projects include a career technical education addition, fitness center, new media center, commons area and a secure school entrance.
Offner said community feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and people have been appreciating the district’s transparency about its needs.
The Winside board of education will pass a resolution to authorize the sale of bonds in June and then the district will complete surveys on the property, Offner said. The designing process for blueprints will take about four to six months, so bidding is estimated to begin in late October to early November at the earliest.
“I want to thank the community members that served on our visionary committee, served on the Winside community task force, the staff, the board and everyone for their hard work and dedication for our kids and their future,” Offner said. “It really shows that we are here to stay and stay for another 40 years.”