Voters rejected the Clinton School District’s $41.9 million facilities referendum Tuesday, prompting the school board president to say that officials might look at another referendum.
School board President Ken Luety expressed disappointment with the vote, saying the board doesn’t have a Plan B. He pointed to the district’s pressing facilities issues and said it will have to “reassess.”
The measure failed by about 60 percent to 40 percent, according to unofficial vote totals.
“We still need to replace the roof on our current high school. We still need repairs that we’re not able to get done,” Luety said.
The referendum would have closed the district’s timeworn elementary and middle schools—which are more than 60 years old—and built a new 4K through sixth-grade campus on district-owned land next to Clinton High School.
Luety said the school board worked on its referendum bid for more than a year and a half. He said the board took its time and now is questioning its next move.
He said he wants those who voted against the referendum to be involved in the decision-making process, to tour the district’s buildings to see the facilities needs and to help board members find a solution.
“I was actually on the board 20 years ago when we passed a referendum. ... It took us four tries to do that,” Luety said. “Hopefully that doesn’t happen again because we’re wasting our efforts and energy and time.”
He said the board will continue advocating for the students and taxpayers.
In January, Bob Butler, the district’s director of facilities and transportation, said the elementary and middle schools no longer meet “educational adequacy.”
He said they have asbestos, lack security and are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each building’s heating pipes are crumbling, and each has high groundwater, he said.