Lockwood voters approve middle school bond issue
Jim Wright gives election judge Marcia Reichert a quick shoulder massage after he voted at Lockwood School Tuesday afternoon. JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff

Lockwood voters approved a measure to sell $13.4 million in bonds to build a new middle school.

The bond issue passed 1,748 to 918, a 65.57 percent to 34.43 percent margin in final, unofficial results released Wednesday morning.

There are about 4,700 registered voters in Lockwood’s two precincts.

The bonds will pay for a new middle school with about 32 classrooms for about 450 students. They also will pay for renovating the existing elementary school buildings to improve classrooms and replace or upgrade all of the existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. By law, the bonds can’t be sold for 60 days so people have time to challenge the vote.

On Tuesday, Lockwood PTA Secretary Sue Peterson said the group was “really hoping it passes.”

“The school is our future so we need to support it,” Peterson said.

Lockwood’s residential area continues to grow and school population will surely increase with it, she said. There is nowhere for the current middle school to expand — or shift uses inside — to accommodate growth.

“We can’t add on to the building anymore,” Peterson said. “We’re out of space.”

Superintendent Eileen Johnson said the school board will hold a number of meetings to sell the bonds.

The district opted to save money and not to go into the design phase of the project until the bond issue passed, Johnson said.

The public will be asked to take part in the design process.

“We’re hoping they will come in and work with the architects to design the building and give lots of input on exactly where they want it located (on school grounds),” Johnson said.