POCATELLO — A multi-million dollar bond to rebuild part of Highland High School has failed to find voter approval.
The $45 million, 15-year bond, was the first bond measure the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 has proposed in 25 years.
The bond failed with 56% of the voters in favor and 44% against. In order to pass, the bond had to net a supermajority of votes, at least 66.7%. A total of 6,515 people voted in favor of the bond and 5,136 voted against it.
“While we are disappointed that tonight’s outcome for the school bond proposal did not reach the supermajority threshold for voter approval, we appreciate and respect the democratic process and the collective voice of our community,” said Courtney Fisher, the district spokesperson.
The bond was proposed in the wake of a devastating fire that gutted Highland High School’s D-wing. This left the school without a cafeteria, band room and weight room, among other necessary school facilities.
The aim of the bond was to construct an entirely new auditorium, music wing, cafeteria and gym with athletic rooms in the footprint of the old D-wing. It was also to flip Century High School’s main gym to be perpendicular with the auxiliary gym and construct an annex for multi-purpose uses.
It’s unclear at this point how the school district will proceed and repair Highland High School and restore it to a fully functioning school.
The district estimates it will receive a $25 million dollar insurance replacement settlement from its insurer, but it’s unclear if that will entirely cover the cost of restoration.
Fisher said the school board plans to hold a special meeting on Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. to figure out how to move forward.
“We understand the outcome is a reflection of the concerns and priorities of our community. The board has plans to regroup and reassess those needs and concerns,” Fisher said.