Voters say yes, yes, yes

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Local News

April 3, 2019 - 10:21 AM

Iola Mayor Jon Wells congratulates SJCF project manager Darin Augustine after hearing results of the USD 257 bond election.

USD 257 voters agreed by a nearly two-to-one margin to build the first new school in the district in 43 years. Voters approved all three parts of Tuesday’s bond issue: a new elementary school for $25.5 million, a new science/technology building at the high school for $7 million and new heating, ventilation and cooling systems at the middle school for $2.8 million.

Leaders of the bond issue celebrated at a watch party at Rookies Bar & Grill Tuesday, where they read vote totals as they came in and cheered the results. They praised the community-led effort that brought together supporters and opponents of a failed 2014 effort. They also vowed to seek community input in the design of the new school.

“It’s this team and these leaders,” that led to the successful passage of the multi-pronged bond issues, said Dan Willis, school board president, immediately after the results were announced. “We studied what didn’t work in 2014 and strategized to put together a plan that voters could support. It’s been an open process for more than a year. We found common ground. None of us went without compromise.”

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