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Voters in Uniondale school district reject $200M bond issue

The referendum would have funded additional classrooms and provided more services, such as prekindergarten and special education, in-house.

Uniondale High School is seen March 13, 2013.

Uniondale High School is seen March 13, 2013. Photo Credit: Tara Conry

Voters in the Uniondale school district rejected a nearly $200 million bond proposal Thursday that would have added classroom space to accommodate surging student enrollment.

There were 1,041 votes against the referendum to 830 in support, officials said.

The $199.9 million bond would have funded additional classrooms and allowed the district to provide more services, such as prekindergarten and special education, in-house. The district would have also been able to discontinue using basement classrooms and portable structures — which are not connected to school buildings — for instruction.

The 20-year bond would have also provided “long-term relief to the growing overcrowded conditions at each of the district’s school buildings,” according to a newsletter on the district’s website.

“Despite incorporating input from the community and key stakeholders throughout the bond development process, the results of today’s vote show us that the proposed project did not fully reflect the desires of our entire community,” Uniondale Superintendent William Lloyd said Thursday night in a statement.

“Our mission is to provide our scholars with the resources needed to succeed in all facets of their education, both in the classroom and beyond,” he said.

“The district remains steadfast in its efforts to provide scholars with the spatial and curriculum-based resources necessary to excel. We will continue to look to alternative solutions to accommodate our growing enrollment.”

Administrators expect the current enrollment of 7,290 students to rise by at least 730 students over the next decade. The district has seen an increase of 940 new students over the past five years.

But some residents expressed concern over the scope of the borrowing. The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 would have had to pay about $270 annually for the debt if the measure passes.

Other planned enhancements as part of the bond included modernized science labs, upgraded science classrooms, and new language labs and testing rooms.

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