Supporters are celebrating the passage of a $22.8 million bond proposal for Ferndale schools in Tuesday's election.
will fund infrastructure updates such as asbestos removal from , heating and cooling systems for buildings and a kitchen area for
Based on unofficial results including all 14 district precincts and absentee ballots, the bond proposal passed 2,795-1,228 – or 69.48 percent yes to 30.52 percent no. Ferndale City Clerk J. Cherilynn Tallman was not yet able to confirm results late Tuesday night.
In Ferndale, a total of 2,876 people voted for a voter turnout of 17.99 percent.
Bond supporters cheered as Ferndale Police Chief Tim Collins announced the projected win earlier Tuesday evening at where bond supporters were gathered.
“I’ve never been so proud of my community and the voters,” Collins said.
led an extensive campaign in favor of the bond, including several fundraising events, organizational meetings and door-to-door literature drops. Organizers called the bond a "no fluff" proposal that includes only the most-needed school improvements.
There was no organized group opposing the bond, but Ferndale resident Tom Gagne had spoken out against it. He and a citizens group representative .
“Tonight is really their night,” Gagne said late Tuesday. “They did a terrific job and I think they should enjoy it and just really look forward to what that bond is going to bring to the schools. They should be proud of the effort they put in.”
Ferndale Schools Superintendent Gary Meier said the bond approval is great news for district students.
“This has been a wonderful coming together of residents in support of our schools and I could not be more proud of them,” Meier said.
Ferndale Board of Education President Keith Warnick said the citizens group volunteers came from a wide cross-section of the community.
“I'm really proud of all the hard work that they put in,” Warnick said. “Now, we can get our schools up to the level where they should be: safe, structurally sound and technologically up to date to help us improve student achievement and keep us competitive with other districts in our area.”
Stephanie Hall, district community relations director, said she was very proud Tuesday night. “This is so important for our students,” Hall said. “It's going to make a big difference.”
Ferndale parent and Citizens for Quality Schools organizer Barb Landry, who serves on the PTA and other community groups, said she feels encouraged by the vote results and how the various communities in the district came together to support the schools.
“This vote really said, 'we are a community,'” she said.
Check back with Ferndale Patch on Wednesday for official voting results and more information on what the school district will do now that the bond is approved.