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USD 378 bond defeated by nearly 2-1 margin

By The Mercury

The $12.3 million bond proposal for Riley schools failed Tuesday by a margin of almost 2 to 1.

The project, which included extensive additions and renovations to USD 378’s high school and elementary school, brought out 1,133 voters in a special election. Of those, 358 voted yes and 764 voted no,  according to the unofficial final count from the Riley County Clerk’s Office.

The final count will be released June 17.

Forty-two percent of the 2,170 voters registered in the district participated in the election.

The bond proposal included a number of additions, including a middle school wing to the high school, high school classrooms, a new gym, locker rooms, cafeteria, auditorium, wrestling room, community weight/fitness facility and a storm shelter, along with a number of renovations and upgrades. It also called for numerous renovations at the elementary school.

Proponents said the bond would move the middle school students, freeing up classrooms at the elementary school so it wouldn’t have to use mobile classrooms. They also supported the plans for security and energy-efficiency upgrades and said

But the plan also drew opponents, including a group of citizens that took issue with the amount of money that was to go toward facilities for sports and other extra-curricular activities, and the proportion of the bond that would fund projects at the high school compared with the elementary school. Another tripping point for many people was the lack of storm shelter for the elementary school.

USD 378 officials were not immediately available for comment.

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