Payette School Superintendent explains importance of failed, multi-million dollar bond – Idaho News


Votes for the bond didn’t reach the 66.7 percent needed for it to pass. (CBS 2 News Staff Photo)

Payette School District voters turned down a bond that proposed to remodel both the Payette High and West Side Elementary School campuses, Tuesday evening.

The initiative asked for over $30 million over the course of 21 years.

Votes for the bond didn’t reach the 66.7 percent needed for it to pass.

But, school district officials continue to believe that the bond is completely necessary for the district.

Superintendent Robin Gilbert told CBS 2 News that the dome at Payette High School, along with the rest of the school, would have been completely renovated with the bond money.

She said the dome, that serves as the gym for the school and a space for city events, is 70 years old with multiple problems, including heating, lighting, and electricity.

“There’s so much that we need in this school and a lot of reasons behind it,” Gilbert said. “Part of it is being prudent with the money and how things are spent and not putting money into patching up old things that wouldn’t last. Also, updating security systems.”

The bond would have also fixed window issues at West Side Elementary School, along with updating security.

Gilbert said that the bond wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.

“There’s been a couple years of work going into this including community events and getting feedback and information, before we even went forward with this,” Gilbert said. “So, we were feeling pretty strong about this with all the feedback we were getting.”

Over 400 students attend school at Payette High School and 238 students over at the elementary school.

It’s these students that Gilbert said she and the school board are fighting for.

“We can teach them, as a school counselor put it, in the caves,” Gilbert said. “But, we’re just looking for what it does for kids to show that we invested with them and that we want the best for them.”

Moving forward, Gilbert said that the school district plans on addressing high priority maintenance issues with money from a past levy.

She added that the school board will be discussing other financial issues at a meeting on March 18.


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