Amid concerns that the coronavirus outbreak could affect the April vote on a bond issue to build a new Stevens Elementary School, the Aberdeen School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to withdraw the proposal for the time being.
The bond proposal failed by one vote in February and a special election was to have taken place April 28. The board held a special meeting online Wednesday.
Volunteers who ran the campaign supporting the bond measure said it may be reintroduced at a later time. The school was built in 1954 and hasn’t had major renovations since the 1970s.
“This resolution has been prepared for the board to consider withdrawing from the April 28 election and postponing to a future date a bond proposal for a new Stevens Elementary School,” said Aberdeen Superintendent Alicia Henderson.
Before the board voted, Board President Sandra Bielski read a comment written by Kris Koski, Chairman of Aberdeen Citizens for Schools :
“The results of the February election showed us that community support for a new Stevens Elementary School in south Aberdeen is high. With the bond for rebuilding Stevens missing supermajority approval by a single vote.
“In response, Aberdeen Citizens for Schools planned to take its message back out to voters in April with added campaign activity and personal engagement to tip the scales.
“However, I believe that the events of the past couple weeks and the changing landscape have limited the ability of Aberdeen Citizens for Schools and its volunteers to run the campaign as planned. As a result, I recommend sending the Stevens bond back out to voters at a later time when there can be a full and rigorous campaign in support of the is very important bond.”
The Feb. 11 vote for a new $46.8 million Stevens Elementary School was 2,002 to 1,335, 59.99% in favor and one vote short of the 60% supermajority needed to pass. Stevens is the last of the district’s five elementary schools to be upgraded or replaced. If approved by voters in a future election, plans call for students to remain at the school built while a new school is built next to it.