School bond wins easy approval
When the advanced voting numbers came in Tuesday night showing a 47-35 advantage for passage of the school bond issue, Janet Campbell told the crowd of about 65 in her home that early returns often predict the final results.
She was right.
At 9 p.m., Campbell again called attention over the election party's din, this time with final results: The bond issue passed 753 to 423.
The $16 million bond will pay for a new high school, which the district hopes to open in the fall of 2003.
The bond passed with 64 percent of voters voting yes.
"I don't care if it was one different; we did it," said Eudora High School Principal Dale Sample.
Of the three bond issues he's been through, including other districts, Sample said this bond election seemed to have the most educated voters.
Even though they weren't a formal part of the committee Margaret Grosdidier and her husband, Norbert, attended the election watch party as they had many informational meetings about the bond issue. The couple has grandchildren in Eudora schools, but that doesn't matter, Margaret said.
"It doesn't matter if you have kids in school or not," she said. "We tried to get our family to vote whether they had to vote absentee or not. I don't find an excuse not to vote. When you consider there are so many countries that don't have the freedom to vote."
Now it's time for the district to get down to the dirty work. Architect Jim French said he was ready to get started hashing out the details of the school.
"We've been out here at least a year," he said.
For Sample, preparing for the new school means soliciting ideas for the finalized design with school staff and community members.
Eudora Middle School Principal Don Grosdidier will have to work on orienting his staff to what will be its new building, the current high school, as well as figuring out how to keep sixth-graders separated from junior high students and adjusting curricula for new classes that the school can offer given new facilities.
One of the best parts for the middle school, Sample said, will be having a building with infrastructure that doesn't require as much attention. The guy who will have the biggest smile on his face tomorrow will be the head custodian, he said.
One of the next steps also includes deciding what to do with the existing middle school building. The Eudora City Council and the Eudora Board of Education have informally discussed turning the facility into some type of community or recreation center.
But revelers at the election watch party were more concerned with relishing the present. Soon after the announcement, Superintendent Marty Kobza thanked members of the It's a K-12 Solution Committee and others instrumental in getting the issue passed, naming specific tasks he owed to each person.
"Rob Claggett wore out a printer and about 15 cartridges printing out pamphlets," Kobza said.
Clinking a bottle of champagne with a can of Diet Coke, Kobza also toasted Kim Schulz, who headed up the bond committee.
Donna Masoner told Kobza he'd been "a rock" throughout the whole journey.
"My rock has been my wife with a new baby," Kobza said. He added, joking, "Now I have a list of honey-dos to put off while planning for the new high school."
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Masoner and other committee members called about 400 people who hadn't voted yet with varied responses.
"They had some answering machines and some people who didn't know it was election day," said her husband, Charles Jones.
For him, the election results mean a return to normal fewer calls at 7 a.m., an earlier bedtime for his wife, and the phone will ring for him occasionally.
"My wife and I can start planning our free time again," Jones said.