According to the unofficial results of Tuesday’s primary election, the $250 million school bond referendum was approved with 69 percent of the vote.
Statement about school bonds from Superintendent W. Jeffrey Booker
We are extremely pleased and grateful to our community for supporting the school bonds. All of the ‘yes’ votes are an investment in education, an investment in our children, and an investment in our future.
With the bonds being approved by a significant margin, it is clear that voters care about the schools in Gaston County, and they want the best schools for our children.
Just this year, we have seen the benefits of school bonds with the opening of the new Pleasant Ridge Elementary and Stanley Middle School. With these bonds, we will continue moving forward to have more new schools and upgrade the existing ones to ensure that our students have a safe and nurturing school environment.
So many people put energy into spreading the word about the importance of the bonds, and they worked extremely hard over the past several months to get out the vote. With the positive vote for the school bonds, it is a time for our community to celebrate. To everyone who voted for the bonds, we would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you.’
Statement about school bonds from Board of Education Chairman Kevin L. Collier
We would like to thank everyone who voted in favor of the school bonds. The bonds will provide funds for new schools, critical renovations and repairs, and school additions. Our next step is for the Board of Education to work with the County Commissioners to issue the bonds and begin work on the school projects.
In addition to everyone who voted for the bonds, we would like to thank the “Our Children, Our Future” bond referendum committee, parents, business leaders, and many other people in our community who joined together to promote the school bonds. It has been a community-wide effort, and it is so reassuring with this vote to see so much support for our schools.
We also are pleased to see that voters have approved the quarter-cent sales tax. The sales tax is expected to generate an extra $6 million a year, which the county has pledged to help pay for the school bonds.
On Tuesday, May 8, the citizens of Gaston County will have the opportunity to vote on a $250 million school bond referendum.
If approved by voters, the funds will be used to address critical needs in three categories:
- New School Construction: $110 million
- School Additions: $25 million
- Renovations and Repairs: $115 million
New School Construction: $110 million
- $30 million to build a new elementary school in the southeast Gastonia area to accommodate future growth and alleviate the potential for overcrowding. The southeast quadrant of the county has been identified as an area for significant population growth.
- $40 million to build a new middle school in Belmont (the new school will replace the old Belmont Middle School building).
- $40 million to build a new middle school that would replace one of our old middle schools and be built to accommodate growth.
School Additions: $25 million
- Classroom additions
- Expansion and renovation of media centers and cafeterias
Renovations and Repairs: $115 million
Funds designated for schools in all six townships based on the critical facility needs in each township:
- Cheryville Township - $5.8 million
- Crowders Mountain Township - $12.1 million
- Dallas Township - $14.5 million
- Gastonia Township - $38.7 million
- Riverbend Township - $21.6 million
- South Point Township - $20.3 million
($2 million is allocated for department office buildings)
The funds would address the most critical renovations and repairs in the following areas:
- Life Safety (cameras, intercoms, and alarms)
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
- Water/Sewer/Gas Lines
- Roof Replacement
- Structural Repairs
- Athletic Facilities
- Parking Lots/Driveways
- ADA Compliance