Bond to Rebuild School Doesn't Pass

April 4, 2007 - Posted at 5:43 p.m. CDT

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO -- Coming up short... the effort to build a new high school in Caruthersville after a tornado severely damaged it on April 2nd has hit a major roadblock. Tuesday, over 56% of voters voted against a bond issue that would have provided the district $4.5 million dollars to construct a new school.

A home in Caruthersville is rebuilding following last year's tornado however their next door neighbors won't be rebuilding any time soon.

"Our community needs to understand to benefit these children and help further their education we need the foundation to be solid and we need a high school," said Caruthersville resident Richard Boyd.

Boyd voted yes to the bond issue and has three children who are students in the district. He feels those who voted against raising property taxes need to understand that rebuilding the high school is crucial to prevent families from moving out of the area.

"I understand why they are upset at the bond issue but they need to look at the other side if there is no school, then there is no community," said Boyd.

Superintendent Nicholas Thiele says the district must now focus its efforts on finding alternative funding sources but he doesn't feel the bonds are a lost cause.

"The fact that we did have 43.8 positive votes on the bond issue tells me that we have the opportunity to perhaps ask again," said Thiele.

For students who campaigned for the bonds door to door around the community, Thiele says spirits will be down when they return from spring break.

"It's hard for them to understand when they put so much effort into a function such as this and then they don't get the positive results it's a hard life lesson for those students," said Thiele.

While spirits are lower after the bond issue was voted down the school is trying to remain upbeat with the projects they are going to be able to do with insurance money which include rebuilding the cafeteria where I stand and rebuilding the football stadium to bring home field back to Caruthersville.

"We feel comfortable as of today's date that we will be able to have graduation on the football field as we planned and hoped," said Thiele.

Without a building high school students will continue to have class in a set of mobile classrooms. Currently the district has another year on the contract for those classrooms plus the options for two more years.