Washington County voters decide on school bond issues, board seat

The unofficial results for the school board and school bond issue elections in Washington County are back.

Voters on Tuesday said no to two bond issue proposals totaling $49.5 million set before Bartlesville voters by the Bartlesville Public School District.

Only garnering 49.6 percent in favor, Proposition 1 failed — not having garnered 60 percent of the vote as required by Oklahoma state law for passage. Proposition 2, gaining only 54 percent voting yes, fell short as well.

The first proposition was a $48 million school bond proposal to fund the construction of a new sixth and seventh grade center, an 18-classroom high school addition to host sophomores and new early childhood classrooms at Richard Kane Elementary School. The second for $1.5 million was to fund improvements in the district's transportation department.

" We are disappointed because we thought this was a strong school bond issue proposal which addressed long term needs of our school district as well as the community," Bartlesville Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Gary Quinn said Wednesday morning in response to the bond failure.

" We were blessed with a lot of great people who worked on this plan and communicated it and supported it, and I sincerely appreciate their efforts," he said, saying district officials will meet again with the school board and the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee concerning the future.

Also in Bartlesville in the race for Bartlesville Board of Education Office 6, incumbent Nikki Benson will remain in her seat after obtaining 55 percent of the vote with 2,507 votes cast in her favor. Seat contender Darla Garder received 45 percent with 2,068 voting for her.

Copan residents voted yes on a proposed $350,000 school bond issue to fund the replacement of the high school's roof and heating and air conditioning systems, an elementary school and student center flooring overhaul and improvements to the cafeteria for energy efficiency.

They tallied in at 110 votes, or 96 percent, voting in favor of the proposition.

"96 percent is pretty amazing," Copan Public Schools District Superintendent Rick Ruckman told 2NEWS in response to the passage of the bond proposal in Copan.

" I am excited to know the community is supportive of this school, he said, adding that he hopes to go out for bids soon to get the projects underway and completed by Aug. 1 this year.

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