Lexington School District One voters approve bond referendum by a wide margin
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Lexington School District One voters turned out today to vote in strong numbers. When the majority of the votes were counted, the citizens agreed the district could issue bonds totaling $365 million-dollars for their ambitious 5-year building plan. That included three completely new schools, a new bus maintenance facility, and additions or renovations to many others. This vote count was as of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday. The vote was 26,692 for the referendum and 20,610 against.
The people who advocated for the bond said that studies show that the new facilities are totally necessary. They also think that upgrades like Performing Arts Centers and other amenities add to the overall education of the modern student. Next to replacing some of the district’s oldest and overcrowded schools, they said that the district needed massive security upgrades to keep the students safe.
There were two factions that were organized against the referendum. One thought that there should be no bond and the school board should learn to live within a budget like everyone else. They pointed out examples of what they said was wasteful spending and excesses like the recent land purchase for a middle school in Pelion.
Another NO BOND faction thought that certainly new schools and additions are needed, but there were still too many frills in the referendum. That group wanted the school district to go back to the drawing board, trim down to the bare necessities, and then come back again in 2020 with another bond request. Some also wanted Lexington County to take various actions to control growth and therefore slow the need for more school and hence money. In the end, the NO factions lost.
The final tally showed that when the polls closed, a tremendous number of the registered voters in District One cast ballots Tuesday. Of those who voted, the majority said yes. This means the YES group has the go ahead and the bonds will be issued. Construction could actually begin very quickly on some projects including the new schools in Gilbert, Pelion, and Lexington. Expect your tax bills to go up accordingly as the millage to service the bond debt, like your monthly mortgage payments, will certainly be higher next year.