AMHERST — The Brew Kettle pub filled with cheers Tuesday night when supporters of the Firelands Schools’ bond issue learned that — after four prior attempts were defeated — the district finally got the voters’ OK to build a new high school.
The 4.28-mill bond issue will generate $24.4 million and be paired with $5.2 million from the state to put toward construction, Superintenent Mike Von Gunten said.
Once the new high school is built, the middle schoolers will leave the building at 152 W. Main St. and begin classes at the former high school.
In Lorain County, the unofficial vote was 2,389, or 57 percent, in favor and 1,824, or 44 percent, against. In the Erie County portion of the district, 599 voters were in favor while 547 were against, according to the unofficial results from the Erie County Board of Elections.
Nakita Doane and Julene Woods, co-chairs of the committee, said they worked for six months with others from the committee to make the community aware.
“I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet, it’s been six months of hard work and stress and love and passion for the district and for our kids and it’ll hit us (eventually),” Woods said. “But out kids and our future generations definitely deserve this.”
Woods was on past committees and said she remembers the feeling of losing so many other times.
“Its heart-wrenching to watch it fail time and time again because these kids deserve it and we can’t say enough about everything that Mike Von Gunten goes through and the dedication that he puts for the kids in this district,” she said.
The new facility will be built on district-owned property and will be connected to the current high school on Vermilion Road in Henrietta Township. Construction is expected to start in 2020 with completion by the 2021-22 school year.