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Shepherd voters saying no to $17 million school renovations

Posted at 8:47 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:15-04

SHEPHERD- Two school bonds totaling $17 million in Shepherd appear to be failing.

After the unofficial final tally Tuesday, a roughly $8.5 million measure to improve the high school was failing 1,005 to 907.

An elementary school measure, also for $8.5 million, was also losing 759 to 725.

The bonds would have helped to alleviate overcrowding concerns at the school, which hasn’t seen major upgrades in nearly 30 years.

Superintendent Scott Carter said while the bond amount was high, the project was designed to accommodate one percent growth a year for the next 25 years in the district.

Carter said that the need was even more apparent at the beginning of the school year when the kindergarten building was deemed unsafe for students due to poor air quality.  The kids missed a week of school while staff scrambled to find a place for them to go, which meant a lot of class time was spent in hallways and small spaces.

As part of the plans, the 100-year-old kindergarten building would have torn down along with the current library, which used to be a restaurant and now has septic problems as a result. A new 50,000-square-foot building would have taken its place and connected to the existing school structure, which also helps with the security concerns of the building by limiting points of entry.

The bond would have also covered the renovation of about 23,000 square feet, allowing for updates to science labs, the school kitchen and the school lunchrooms, to name a few.

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