MIDLOTHIAN — Midlothian ISD voters approved the district’s $97.3 bond referendum to address projected growth in the district. The highly debated single-proposition bond passed 2,263 to 1,838, according to the unofficial results. Votes will be canvassed May 19 for the official results.

The victory paves the way for additions to Frank Seale Middle School to expand capacity from 1,000 to 1,200 students at an estimated cost of $2.8 million with occupancy anticipated for January 2013; a seventh elementary school to accommodate 750 students with estimated occupancy in August 2014 at an estimated cost of $20.5 million; and the construction of phase one of a second high school to accommodate 1,000 students with a core capacity of 2,500, at an estimated cost of $74 million with a planned occupancy date of August 2014.

“I am grateful and pleased that our bond issue passed,” Dr. Jerome Stewart, MISD superintendent, said. “Our community looked at the information that was presented and made an informed decision to support its school district and to build on its excellence, for this day and for the future.”

Stewart acknowledged the efforts of the Growth Management Committee, MISD board of trustees, Community Advocates for Responsible Education and district faculty and staff for their spirit and dedication.

Andrea Walton, spokesperson for C.A.R.E., acknowledged the efforts of campaign volunteers in bringing the community together.

“We created a grass roots campaign, with a lot of hard work and an incredible team effort. The community came together, across boundaries, to focus on the fact that our community is growing and desperately needs this space in our schools,” Walton said in an email statement. “There have been many humble leaders come before us that have paved the way, and we consider this voter approval a win for students, teachers, our community and most importantly the excellence that continues in Midlothian schools.”

Throughout the campaign, Stewart assured the community that even with looming budget cuts the district will have the ability to fund the staffing and operation of the new facilities.

“Bond referendums are always tough on a growing community when people are committed to their positions and this was certainly the case here in this election. I know that there is a lot of concern in the community about how much infrastructure is needed and the debt required to meet those needs,” Mayor Boyce Whatley said, saying the city council is committed to working with the district to address those concerns.

The Growth Management Committee began meeting in January 2010 to address the demographer’s projected student growth in the district and determine recommendations for the school board on how to best plan to meet that growth. Student enrollment is projected to reach 8,952 in 2015 and top 12,000 in 2020, according to the MISD website.

“As one process ends, another process begins – building the bond projects. The school board trustees and I look forward to working with the MISD community to build the three bond projects in a manner of which our community can be proud,” Stewart said.

MISD board of

trustees

Results from Saturday’s election revealed no change in the makeup of the MISD board of trustees with incumbents Cindy Williams, Place 6, and Wayne Shuffield, Place 7, selected by voters to retain their seats on the board.

Williams, who has lived in the district for more than 13 years and completed four terms on the board, won over challenger Kyle McAfee by 2,152 to 1,471 votes.

Shuffield has completed two terms on the board and has lived in the district for more than 10 years. Shuffield prevailed with 1,892 votes and challenger Erik Kyle received 1,669 votes.

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or call 469-517-1451.