Voters in Velva approved a $4.4 million bond issue Tuesday that will pay for a school addition and renovation project. The vote was 277 in favor and 163 against. It passed with 62.9 percent of the vote; 60 percent of the vote was required.
"It was very close and we anticipated that," said Supt. Jeff Manley, who said the district held public information meetings to educate the public about the need for an addition. "There are a lot of smiles around our area today."
Manley said the project will consist of a new kitchen and lunch room area, handicapped accessible restrooms, renovation of the school's vocational agriculture facility and a gymnasium.
"It's been a need that's been talked about for a long time," said Manley, who is new to the position this year, having taken the job after being with the Leeds school district for 10 years. Manley said plans for the election were already well in place when he arrived. The project should satisfy the immediate needs that the school district has, said Manley, and it shows that people in Velva are interested in continuing to be progressive and keeping the school system "top notch."
The district is anticipating growth due to the energy boom in the western part of the state, so keeping the school updated is important.
The district also plans to hold more activities that are open to the public.
The bond issue will mean a 34 to 36 mill increase and will mean a $13.50 per month tax increase for the owner of a $100,000 home, said Manley. The bond obligation is for 20 years.