Baldwin School District voters give nod to bond issue
Despite tough economic times, Baldwin School District voters gave approval Tuesday to a $22.9 million bond issue by a slim margin.
There were 2,087 votes for the bond issue to 1,775 against it. That margin of 54 percent to 46 percent didn’t surprise Supt. Paul Dorathy.
“I would say in these tough economic times, this is a big statement for the community to make for the school district,” said Dorathy. “These are tough times, but this was the right thing for our schools.
“I expected it to be close,” he said. “I really thought it was going to be in the 50 percent range either way. We had to wait to the end to see how that would go.”
With it’s passage, the lion’s share of the money — $14.7 million — will go to build a new Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center to replace the 50-plus-year-old building currently housing students. The other big-ticket item is a $3.7 million performing arts auditorium at Baldwin High School.
Also in the plans are four new baseball and softball fields for BHS and a practice track. Money will also go for a new roof and air conditioning and heating units at Baldwin Junior High School. Upgrades will also be made district wide for technology and student safety.
“I’m just really thankful that I live in a community that thinks enough in these tough economic times to do what’s right for their children,” said Ande Parks, a member of both the Baldwin School Board and the facilities committee the board put together to make recommendations on the bond issue.
Another member of the facilities committee who went on to lead the Kids First campaign to promote its passage was Baldwin City Council President Amy Cleavinger.
“We are very grateful to the community for their support of kids and our schools,” said Cleavinger. “This benefits all of us, our entire community, and we’re thrilled with the results.”
The measure passed easily in two of the three city precincts, failed in the other, and was defeated in two outlying areas, while a third passed it by a slim margin.