Lakewood school bond still short of supermajority

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District is tantalizingly close to meeting the required supermajority to pass its building bond, but unless the next set of election results shows the approval side gaining at least 32 votes, it won't be close enough.

"To be that close and not make it would certainly be beyond disappointing, that's for sure," said Fred Owyen, whom the Lakewood School District has contracted as its capital project manager. "The supermajority is a tall hurdle, though."

As of 3:29 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, the Lakewood School District's Proposition 1, for the bond to renovate Lakewood High School, has received 1,732 "Approved" votes, or 58.93 percent of the vote, and 1,207 "Rejected" votes, or 41.07 percent of the vote.

Owyen explained that, if the bond does not pass, the Lakewood School District Board of Directors will likely decide its next course of action during its meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, in Room 209 at English Crossing Elementary.

"They may consider putting the same bond on the April 22 special election ballot unchanged, if the margin is close enough, because the need for a new high school will not have changed," Owyen said. "They're also reviewing the tax rate assumptions, looking at the most recent assessed values, so they can offer a revised cost-per-thousand estimate if this goes back on the ballot for April, because that financial picture will have changed over time."

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this election, Owyen thanked all those voters — significantly more than a majority, even if they might have fallen short of a supermajority — who supported the Lakewood School District's bond to renovate Lakewood High School.

"We've been very fortunate in the amount of approval votes that we have received," Owyen said. "It's just so maddening to be so close. We definitely know we still need to improve the high school, so the next step on our quest will depend on the results of this election, and on what direction the Lakewood School Board chooses to take if it's not approved this time."

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