NEWMAN GROVE, NE — Newman Grove Public Schools will need to find a new way to finance school improvements after a school bond failed to pass a special election on Tuesday.
Unofficial election results posted to the Madison County website show 386 votes against the school bond and 290 votes for it. 70.8 percent of the 955 possible voters participated in the mail-in election.
The District was asking for a $12.5 million bond to demolish the existing shop facility to make room for an elementary addition to the existing junior/senior high. They also want to shift the elementary building to a daycare and early childhood center and build a vocational ag building across the street.
Superintendent Mikal Shalikow says the elementary school students have to cross Highway 45 as much as four times a day to get to the cafeteria, gym or music room in the junior/senior high. The elementary school building was constructed in 1930.
The bond was projected to increase the District’s levy by seven cents.
Statement from Superintendent Mikal Shalikow:
“Many who understand well the urgent needs that exist in our current facilities are disappointed in the results of the bond election. Many hours were spent in an effort to educate our patrons on these needs and the impact on our students each day.
Several community meetings and informational sessions were held with an overwhelming percentage of those in attendance at these meetings in support of the proposed project as a solution to our needs.
With the failure of this election, the urgency of these needs and the daily impact on our school community still looms and must be addressed. Whether we are forced to invest significant dollars into an outdated facility, pursue another bond or another solution to our needs in the future has yet to be determined. We hope to have meaningful discussion with our patrons on both sides of this issue in the near future to help determine our next steps.
In the meantime, the goal and vision of the district will not change. We will continue to educate our students the best we can with our current facilities.”