By Sarah Varney
Resounding Win for Revised School Bond
March 14, 2012
Four million dollars made all the difference. On March 13, Rye voters approved the $16,350,000 school bond proposal by a vote of 1842 to 1048. A more expensive bond — with a price tag of $20 million — had been voted down in December.
The approved bond will fund the addition of 12 new science classrooms, the reclamation of two general classrooms, and the removal of four portable classrooms at the high school.
Construction is scheduled for completion in time for the opening of the 2014 school year, said Laura Slack, Rye Board of Education president. “We are grateful to the community for recognizing the need for new classrooms and up-to-date science labs in this economic environment,” said Ms. Slack. Board member Ray Schmitt echoed Slack’s comments: “It’s reassuring that the community understood the importance of the need for more space.” Rye High School Principal Patricia Taylor was less constrained. “I’m so excited!” she said minutes after the votes were tallied.
A contingent of some 35 supporters cheered and applauded as the final count was announced.
Some of those who opposed the proposed bond who were present for the final vote count, met news of the passage with a shrug. “All I can do is present the facts. If the community chooses to ignore those facts, there is nothing I can do,” said Bertrand deFrondeville, a stalwart foe of the measure. “Now it’s on to the [2012-2013 school] budget.”
Asked for his reaction, Martin Gerson, who opposed the first bond, said, “I was surprised to see that there was still a significant ‘No’ vote.” He expressed doubt that the passage of the proposed upcoming school budget proposed for would cause the same level of opposition as the bond.