Whether or not the bond issue passed, Lakeview Community Schools Superintendent Aaron Plas and numerous others who worked for nearly two years to get the item before voters were going to be together when a verdict was reached.
“We believe that you do things together as a team, you win together and you lose together,” Plas said. “So there were a lot of community members, patrons and staff that met out at Shadows (Restaurant and Pub) and hung out and waited for the results to come in.”
Those results on Tuesday evening proved favorable, with 563 district residents voting in favor of the $12 million bond issue and 447 voting against. In total, about 33 percent of the 3,410 registered voters cast ballots at six precincts, according to Platte County Election Commissioner Connie J. Sebourn. In addition, there was one precinct set up exclusively accepting absentee ballots.
“More came out than what I thought would in term of the voters,” Sebourn said of the special election. “It started off pretty slow and then as we moved on in the day we started having a pretty steady flow of voters.”
The election was too close to call at The Telegram’s Tuesday evening print deadline. At the time, three precincts and all absentee ballots had been tallied, according to Sebourn, and the results were neck and neck: 301 voting in favor of the bond issue and 277 against.
Sebourn on Wednesday morning said that a canvassing board was convened in her office sweeping over the ballots ensuring that everything was filled out and scanned property. The results from Tuesday’s special election were finalized early afternoon Wednesday.
The passage of the bond issue will result in a sizable amount of construction being completed at Lakeview’s high school building. New ADA compliant gymnasium facilities are being installed, as are updated classrooms, renovated electrical systems and fire alarms, a new district office and new ag education lab.
“We are hoping to improve our hands-on learning when it comes to animal sciences, plant sciences and precision ag,” Plas said of what the new lab setup will provide. “It will be just off of where the current industrial tech lab is.”
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The undertaking is expected to get underway in spring 2020 and will take about 18 months to complete. The 20-year bond will affect district taxpayers annually to the tune of about 5.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in addition to the levy they pay annually that helps complete the district’s budget.
For example, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $51 annually, the owner of a $300,000 home, $153 annually, and so on.
Keith Runge, president of the Lakeview Community Schools Board of Education, said that this is a huge win for the district. The 1976 Lakeview graduate highlighted how much work went into getting to this stage in the game.
“It’s a good feeling to have it pass,” Runge said. “You always wish that you would have even more support, but in the long run it passed and we did a lot of research and the majority of the board knows what’s best for Lakeview’s future and for the staff and for the kids.”
Passage of the bond issue comes on the heels of the district’s 50th anniversary. During its 50 years, Lakeview Community Schools’ student population has heavily spiked, which was one of the major reasons the bond issue came into play in the first place.
Now, Plas and other school leaders feel like students and staff are in a good position to head into the future knowing their needs are being met. After the bond issue unofficially passed around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, there were sighs of relief and a whole lot of smiles at The Shadows.
“It was a great night for our district,” Plas said.
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.