Borough voters handily passed both school bond propositions on Tuesday’s ballot.
Proposition 1 asked voters to OK the sale of about $37.2 million in bonds to replace Ryan Middle School. According to unofficial results, 60 percent of voters said yes, passing the measure by nearly 2,000 votes.
Prop 2 passed by an even wider margin, with 65 percent of votes cast in favor, unofficially. That measure will raise $19.4 million to repair and renovate five other district schools.
Dave Ferree served as co-chaired of the Yes on School Bonds Committee, and he says the vote outcome shows that borough residents understand the importance of investing in schools – even during these economically challenging times.
“Y’know Fairbanks is facing some fairly unique challenges, and I think we all want our schools to be one of our strong points,” he said.
Ferree worked for some 30 years as a school district administrator in charge of facilities maintenance before he retired last year. He says Tuesday’s vote of confidence shows borough residents have confidence in the district to maintain its schools to last as long as possible
“Despite what you sometimes hear, it’s not a frilly operation,” he said. “I think it shows in the support, which has been pretty overwhelming for quite a while.”
Ferree says the state will reimburse the borough for 60 percent of the Ryan Middle School construction costs, and about 70 percent of the cost of the other five projects.