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District 818 voters approve building bond

District 818 voters approved a $4.95 million building bond measure Thursday by a vote of 340-252.

With the school district contributing $845,000, the total cost of the project will be $5.795 million.

Work on the addition is expected to begin in September. Completion is expected in September, 2014.

The 29,700-square foot Verndale school building addition will house two science classrooms, a 10,565-square foot gymnasium, boys and girls’ locker rooms, administrative offices and storage space.

The addition will also mean changes to the interior of the present school building. The elementary and secondary portions of the school will be completely separate according to Verndale Superintendent Paul Brownlow. The cafeteria will be remodeled and enlarged. Special education facilities will be upgraded.

“I think it will offer a great opportunity for our students,” Brownlow said.

Extra space requirements for a growing student population prompted the need for a building bond. As the 2012-2013 school year ends in Verndale, Brownlow reported the K-12 enrollment is 486 with more students preparing to enroll for the 2013-2014 school year. Approximately half of the district’s students are open-enrolled from other districts.

“The greatest thing is that we had a wonderful turnout at the polls,” Brownlow said. “It was a great representation of the community.”

A vote on the building bond in August, 2012 failed 300-252.