Voters in the Hills-Beaver Creek School District decided Tuesday it is time to build a new high school.
Support for the $9.9 million project was strong with 632 votes (70.7 percent) in favor of passing the bond and 261 against it.
Superintendent David Deragisch reported the unofficial results late Tuesday night. The votes will be official on Thursday morning when the Hills-Beaver Creek School Board canvasses the election.
“I am very happy with the results,” Deragisch said. “Now H-BC and its supportive community of residents can sit back and watch the new school be built.”
A large turnout meant long lines, especially at the Hills American Legion Hall where both Hills residents and Martin Township residents voted.
This polling location also experienced an issue with the ballot counting machine.
The machine jammed and was taken to the courthouse in Luverne where it was cleaned.
Two ballots were found in the machine. Those ballots, along with the others from the Hills Legion polling location, were then counted in a new machine.
The issue did not result in any lost votes but did delay the release of the unofficial results.
The turnout was high, with 77.79 percent of all registered voters in the district casting votes. Of the 1,148 registered voters 893 voted either at the polls or by absentee ballot.
The district had collected 142 absentee ballots that were opened and counted on election night.
What happens now?
With a successful bond vote the building committee at H-BC will continue to stay busy working on the details of the project.
Initially the board has to make decisions on how the bond will be sold.
They have a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, March 15, to discuss bonding options with a representative from Ehlers and Associates.
The company is handling the school’s bond for the new high school building. The School Board must decide how the bonds will be sold, and the Ehlers representative will provide information about two options.
Architects will put the final touches on the designs. According to construction manager Wes Engbers of Gil Haugan, architects will need six to eight weeks to finalize paperwork before Gil Haugan will start seeking bids.
At a public meeting in February Engbers said the project could begin as early as June 1. Construction is estimated to last 12 to 14 months with the goal of getting students through the doors for the start of the 2011-12 school year.