Voters have approved a $36.7 million school bond that will result in numerous updates in the Leavenworth school district.
Mail-in ballots were received until noon Friday.
There were 2,670 people (57.6 percent) who voted in favor of the school bond. There were 1,956 people (42.2 percent) who voted against it.
“This is really a tribute to the community and parents getting involved in their kids’ education,” said USD 453 Superintendent Mike Roth. “We are building a better future for our kids.”
USD 453 Chief Financial Officer Kevin Gullett and Director of Public Relations Jake Potter joined Roth at the Leavenworth County Courthouse to watch as the election results were announced by Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski.
Klasinski showed the school officials a print-out of the final election results that were printed on a thin piece of paper, much like a grocery store receipt. Roth asked for and received the slip of paper showing the election results.
“I am appreciative of the process and all of the people who voted,” Roth said. “In the end, it’s truly for the kids.”
Klasinski said approximately 4,700 ballots were turned in. She said that the voting turnout was 35 percent.
She said the ballots and vote count will be certified Tuesday.
Passage of the school bond allows the district to address elementary and middle school building capacity issues, improve safety and security and focus on kindergarten readiness and next generation learning.
With the passing of the bond, the district will now move forward on several projects. Roth said the district will now move into the design phase with architects.
Now that the bond has passed, Earl Lawson Elementary School will close as an elementary school but the facility will be converted into an early childhood center for the district’s prekindergarten and kindergarten classes.
Passage of the bond will also pay for the construction of a new fifth- and sixth-grade intermediate center next to Richard Warren Middle School.
Roth said the district hopes to break ground in October on the new fifth- and sixth-grade center.
Storm shelters will be added at Lawson and Warren.
The bond will also pay for other renovations in the district, including a new security entrance at Leavenworth High School.
“The Leavenworth Unified School District remains committed to preparing students for success in every classroom, every day,” according to a prepared statement from the district.
The press release stated that the district’s goal is to provide safe and modern facilities that meet the needs of students’ educational environment.