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Fri, Nov. 22

Miner Editorial | KUSD must search for other options after voters reject school bond

The defeat of Kingman Unified School District’s $35 million school bond initiative dealt a crippling blow to plans for repairs to Palo Christi School and HVAC upgrades at La Senita School.

Based on early results Tuesday and Wednesday, voters in the Kingman Unified School District aren’t on board with a proposed $35 million school bond as 63% have voted no and 36% have voted yes.

These numbers are unofficial with a final tally expected to be released Nov 12-13.

The losing bond bid leaves the district scrambling for alternatives to repair a campus that would serve future elementary school students as the community grows. Given the defeat, the district will have to evaluate its options.

KUSD’s Governing Board slated the special election for the bond that would help bring Palo Christi school back into a fully functioning building, update HVAC units, add a digital entry system, purchase 10 new buses and renovate La Senita school.

KUSD Superintendent Gretchen Dorner expressed disappointment.

“We were absolutely looking forward to the bond passing because we needed some work on our infrastructure,” Dorner said. “It was disappointing to find out Tuesday evening that the voters said no, but that’s the democratic process.

“We did our best to inform the voters and make sure everyone had the facts. In our country when the voters speak, that’s where we’re at.

“At this point we’ll work with the board on a contingency plan for Palo Christi, because that’s a pretty big expense that we could not absorb,” Dorner continued.

“But as far as the other components of the grant, we cannot leave our schools without proper heating and cooling. We do not have the money from the state that we were supposed to have to cover those things, but we are talking with energy management companies and some other sources to look at other avenues.”

From the bond, $17 million would have gone toward the refurbishment of Palo Christi and $1 million would have been for refurbishment of La Senita.

Another $14 million would have gone to HVAC upgrades throughout the district, while $2 million would have been spent for the key fob system and $1 million for 10 new buses.

Of the $1 million La Senita would have received, $500,000 would have gone toward maintenance-related items and the other half for technology needs.

At this time, it’s uncertain whether this issue will go back before the voters.

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