“I am so happy for all of our students, and proud of the community for the level of support they have shown.”
Those were the sentiments of Perry head wrestling coach Mark Weber Thursday after the voters in the Perry Community School District voted overwhelmingly in favor of a $6.5 million bond issue. The Industrial Technology areas will be greatly expanded and updated thanks to the passing of the referendum, with a new wrestling room/locker rooms and restrooms added to the north side of the senior high.
The issue generated 709 votes, or a roughly 14 percent turnout, a high rate for single-issue school ballot. With approximately 25 absentee ballots to count, the issue passed by a margin of 635-74, or with 90 percent approval. Passage required at least 60 percent of all votes cast to be in favor of the measure.
“I was hoping to get over 70 percent, maybe 80 percent,” Weber said. “To have 90 percent say ‘yes’ just tells you how much this community supports their schools. This is not just a big win for wrestling and sports, but is huge win for the Industrial Tech, too, and is going to have an immediate impact.”
Weber said he was grateful for the hard work and dedication of the “Vote ‘Yes'” committee.
“There were a lot of people who really went out of their way to educate the public and promote the issue and their hard work really paid off with the size of the margin,” Weber said. “It is one thing to say “I support this” from your couch, and it another to actually take the time to vote. The committee clearly did a great job of turning that support into real votes.”
Many issues remain to be decided, including final approval or architectural plans. The district’s stated goal is to have work completed in time for the start of the 2020-21 school year.
“The guys who are sophomores now will have a chance to experience the new area when they are seniors,” Weber said. “It is hard to explain how much a long-term benefit this is going to be, and, again, I want to thank all of those who voted ‘yes’ for our students.”