By Jeff Shultz
That’s how close the Elmore City-Pernell bond election came to being passed during Tuesday’s school bond election.
According to the Garvin County Election Board, 434 out of 733 EC-P voters approved the proposed $18.240 million bond issue.
Though more voters cast a “Yes” ballot than those who voted against the measure (299), the proposed bond issue failed to get the state mandated 60 percent super majority thus killing the bond proposal.
A few supporters of the measure, along with some EC-P High School students, held a small watch party at the EC Middle School.
“I sat in a room full of teenagers as the results were calculated and witnessed such disappointment. Tears were shed by children who desire something better,” said Jasmine Tadlock.
“I wish our community could have seen that.,” she added. “I wish they could see their faces when they realized they will have to continue to go to school in a building full of mold and decay. It’s heartbreaking.”
Tadlock hopes the school board will revisit the bond issue again in the near future.
“I am grateful for those who did vote yes and I hope they do so again in the near future. Change must happen and we will need their votes YES again,” she said.
If it had passed the measure would have funded several large projects including the construction of a new high school and gym as well as improvements to the football stadium and ag facility.
The failed bond election means EC-P schools will have to pull money from the general fund to keep the old buildings in useable shape.
“If this does not pass, we have no alternatives except to pull money from the general fund to repair the issues with plumbing, termites and mold and that could mean cutting employees, curriculum, activities, etc.,” Cruz told the News Star last week.
For Tadlock and other supporters of the bond election, another attempt at getting the measure passed should be soon.
“I hope we continue the fight for something better very soon!” she said.