The second time was the charm for Lowndes County School District officials.
County voters on Tuesday approved a $44 million bond issue that will fund capital improvements throughout the district, as well as a $26 million new high school in New Hope and a $11 million centralized career-technical center.
Lowndes County Circuit Clerk officials say numbers show 4,461 people voted on the proposal: 2,781, or 62 percent, voted in favor, and 1,680, or 38 percent, voted against it.
The bond issue needed 60 percent approval to pass.
The results remain unofficial with 241 absentee ballots still being counted, but each of those votes would need to go against the bond issue for it to fail.
“We’re just so happy for Lowndes County,” LCSD superintendent Lynn Wright told The Dispatch on Tuesday night after results came in. “It’s a great victory for our students. We appreciate everyone who came out for the bond issue. We look forward now to moving ahead with these projects. We feel like it’s something our kids will benefit from for years to come.”
Last August, a similar school bond issue proposal failed at Lowndes County polls.
That proposal — worth $47 million and geared toward much of the same district-wide improvements — only received 52 percent votes in favor. Approximately 1,800 votes were cast.
In August, nine out of 12 precincts voted against the bond.
On Tuesday, eight of 12 voted in favor.
The biggest change this time could be seen in Caledonia. In August, 149 votes were in favor of the bond issue, while 185 were against it. On Tuesday in Caledonia, 451 votes were in favor, while 331 were against.
The $44 million bond approved by voters Tuesday includes: $11 million for a centralized career-technical center; $26 million for a new high school on the New Hope campus; $3 million for upgrades and additions at the Caledonia campus; $1.9 million for a new field house at Caledonia; and $2 million for renovations on the West Lowndes campus.
Wright said Tuesday night it is unclear when exactly the bonds will be issued and when the district will have the money. The superintendent added that he is most excited about getting a career-tech center built. The district is currently looking at four sites near the Columbus Nissan dealership where the center could be built, according to Wright.
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