By Wally Kennedy

wkennedy@joplinglobe.com

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Voters in the Verona R-7 School District on Tuesday approved a bond issue to construct a new high school, while voters in the Miller R-2 School District narrowly rejected a bond issue to build a new elementary school, according to complete but unofficial returns.

With all 20 precincts in the district reporting, the Verona issue received 255 “yes” votes to 112 “no” votes. The issue, which needed 57.1 percent of the vote to pass, garnered nearly 70 percent of the vote.

The Miller issue received 526 “yes” votes to 397 “no” votes. The issue, which also needed 57.1 percent of the vote to pass, received 56.99 percent of the vote, according to Lawrence County Clark Gary Emerson.

The Verona plan calls for paying for a 32,000-square-foot high school with $3.1 million in bond money and $700,000 in lease-purchase money. It will replace a school that is 80 years old, said Superintendent William Sweet.

The school is to have six classrooms, two science rooms with an adjoining lab, a vocational-agriculture room, a music room and an art room. The school also will have a family and consumer science room, a kitchen, and a cafeteria for 200 people that would double as a multipurpose room.

Sweet said this will be the district’s first building project since 1996.

In addition to the bond issue and the lease-purchase money, $300,000 for other district projects would be sought through the same lease-purchase agreement.

Sweet said the old high school will be demolished to create a parking lot for the new school.

The Miller issue sought $4.1 million in bond money to construct an elementary school, said Superintendent Tony Rossetti.

Rossetti said a new elementary school was the recommendation of the school-planning committee that held a series of six meetings with teachers and residents.





Voter turnout



About 16.7 percent of Lawrence County’s 23,270 registered voters participated in Tuesday’s elections, according to the county clerk’s office.

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