Voters in the Tea Area School District have rejected an $11-million bond plan. The bond would have created a new elementary school, expanded the current elementary and built a performing arts center onto the high school.
A total of 57 percent of voters were in favor of the plan, but it needed 60 percent to pass. Now, the school board and administrators must go back to the drawing board.
"If we get to next school year without any plan to move forward, class sizes are going to have to start increasing because we're simply running out of space," Tea Area School Board President John Herr said.
If the bond passed, the new elementary school would have been built in a field just north of 41st Street. That's one issue those against the bond spoke out against. Now the school board and administrators say they need to go back and address those issues.
"We've been very creative in the eleven years we've been around and I'm sure we'll figure out some way to make this work. Getting some input from the public is first and foremost what we have to do," Herr said.
The plan also called for an expansion at the elementary school where temporary classrooms are currently used for classes.
The board has a meeting Tuesday night, but will likely revisit this issue at the October meeting.
Tea currently has more than 1,500 students. That's twice as many as when the district began eleven years ago. And, district leaders say that growth isn't going to stop.
"It isn't any less pressing than it was yesterday. The need is still there, we need to figure out a plan on what we're going to do," Herr said.
And that will be the next step for everyone involved to work out.
The Tea district grows by six percent each year. They'll likely use surveys to gather input on what needs to change on the plan.