Rothsay says ‘yes’ to new school [UPDATED]Published 11:03am Friday, May 17, 2013 Updated 11:04am Friday, May 17, 2013
Supporters of a new school in Rothsay have reason to celebrate this morning.
Despite divided opinion and a referendum that failed by 12 votes in December, a majority of voters – 348 to 315 – voted Thursday in favor of a new $19 million school.
After another close vote, those associated with the school took the morning to celebrate the hard work of those who supported the referendum.
Bill Rose, who taught in the district from 1966 to 1994, said he thought the vote showed support for continued growth in the small town. In his opinion, the new space for the faculty will mean a better education for students.
“They have a tremendous faculty,” Rose said. “But if you get over 30 kids in a class you can’t take care of all of them.”
As a teacher, Rose saw the school renovated and added on to three times. After speaking to some of his former students, he said the town’s younger generation has something to look forward to.
“I called up my kids who had graduated, they are all happy too,” Rose said. “It’s a tremendous boost to the town.”
Ruth Anderson, a bus driver in the district, said younger generations are especially excited about the passage of the proposal. Over the 18 years she has worked in the district, she said she has seen a change in how active younger people are in the community.
“The young adults that have kids are getting much more involved,” Anderson said. “It’s working.”
Anderson also said that the students she drives to and from school everyday have also helped the effort.
“You would not believe how involved students are in these things,” Anderson said. “The kids were all very happy this morning. The right always comes out on top.”
On Monday night, the school board will accept the election results through a resolution. The next steps will be notifying the county and the Commissioner of Education. From there, the district will look forward to breaking ground.
For Superintendent Warren Schmidt, the district’s hard work has finally paid off.
“We’re very enthusiastic and relieved,” Schmidt said. “We’re looking forward to getting this project started.”
Thursday’s referendum asked residents for nearly $5 million less than the bond that failed in December. Schmidt said the board listened to the concerns of those initially against spending so much for a new building, but credits the “Vote Yes” committee for their hard work with the project.
“The formation of the ‘Yes’ committee was outstanding,” Schmidt said. “I think that’s what pushed it through.”