School numbers are up

Student Shyanne Brethawer works on her math with her desk slid up against the whiteboard during her fifth-grade class April 26, 2018, at Heyburn Elementary School.

RUPERT — Minidoka County School District voters said no to a $21 million general obligation bond May 21 that would have allowed the district to add and equip six classrooms each at Heyburn and Paul elementary schools and at West Minico Middle School to reduce overcrowding.

The bond received 1,006 votes in favor of the bond and 846 against but lacked the supermajority or 66.67% approval to pass.

“I think there was more negativity going around just before the election and people chose to believe that instead of finding out the facts,” Ken Cox, the district superintendent, said Tuesday after the results were tallied. “The feedback we were getting was that people were saying they would not vote for any more taxes, period.”

Patrons turned down the same bond request in March.

“There were fewer no votes in March than this time,” Cox said.

The March bond received 61.97 percent approval, which was still lacking a supermajority to pass.

Cox said the board will review the matter at its June board meeting to figure out what measures the district will need to take next.

The bond money would have also been used to build a new agriculture building at Minico High School and Heyburn elementary would have received a second gym. The current gym is used as a physical education room, auditorium and lunchroom.

The money would have allowed the district to upgrade heating and air condition systems at Rupert and Paul elementary school and at Mt. Harrison Jr./Sr. High School and purchase land for and furnish a new agriculture building, install a gym floor and add concessions and restrooms at the tennis and softball facilities along with improving the career and technical education rooms at MHS. It would have also been used to implement better security measures throughout the district.

“This is all stuff that we need. We are trying to plan and prepare for the future. It would have taken two years to complete construction and by then we are going to need it,” Cox said.

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