SALT LAKE CITY — Voters in South Summit School District rejected a $58.65 million school building bond and the vote for $106.5 million bond issue proposed by the Ogden School District was trailing, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night.
But voters in four other school districts approved bonds totalling $667 million.
In Weber, Canyons and Granite school districts, residents supported bonds totaling more than $600 million collectively. And in Morgan County, 52 percent voted for a $49 million school building bond, with 47 percent voting against.
Here's a look at final but unofficial results:
Voters in Canyons School District approved a $283 million general obligation bond to rebuild Hillcrest and Brighton high schools. Fifty-six percent of voters cast "yes" votes while nearly 44 percent voted against, the results showed.
The bond will fund the rebuilding of Union Middle School and four elementary schools.
The general-obligation bond will cover upgrades at 18 elementary schools that would bring in natural light from windows and skylights at a projected cost about $3.1 million.
Other projects to be addressed under the bond: renovations to Alta High, including a new auditorium and gymnasium; construction of new classrooms at Corner Canyon High, which opened in 2013; and office upgrades at six elementary schools.
The bond will be "tax rate neutral," according to the school district. Bond payments would be layered into the district's outstanding debt paid by taxes assessed on residential and business properties in the district's boundaries. The bond would be repaid over 20 years.
Supporters of a $238 million bond issue proposed by the Granite School Board outnumbered people voting "no," according to final but unofficial vote tallies. Fifty-five percent of patrons voted for the bond and 45 percent voted "no."
The bond is a key component of a long-range plan to rebuild and renovate schools to address lingering safety concerns and support 21st century educational technology.
The bond will be used to rebuild Skyline and Cyprus high schools, three junior high schools (Kearns, Valley and Evergreen), and 12 elementary schools across the district, and pay for remodeling projects at more than a dozen other schools over 10 years.
To repay the bond, a home valued at $259,900 will see a property tax increase of about $15 a month, roughly $180 annually.
Granite's proposal came on top of a property tax increase approved by the school board this summer to help fund pay raises for educators.
Granite School Board President Terry Bawden expressed gratitude for the voters' support of the bond.
“Our kids deserve to learn in facilities that are safe, functional and capable of delivering a 21st century education,” said Bawden.
“The passing of this bond puts us in a much better position to deliver on that promise.”
Support for a $106.5 million bond to replace three Ogden elementary schools and the gymnasium at Ben Lomond High was trailing with some mail ballots yet to be counted, according to the Weber County Clerk's Office.
Nearly 49 percent of voters supported the bond, while about 51 percent opposed the question.
Ogden School District spokesman Jer Bates said due to the close vote and ballots yet to be counted, the school district would reserve comment until Weber County posts updated results on Thursday.
The proposed bond also would fund construction of "professional gateway centers" at Highland and Mount Ogden junior high schools.
The bond will not raise taxes, according to the school district.
A 12-classroom expansion to Fremont High, a rebuild of Roy Junior High and new elementary schools in Pleasant View and Farr West will be funded by a $97 million bond approved by Weber School District voters.
According to end-of-night but unofficial results, 58 percent of voters supported the bond, with about 41 percent opposed.
Weber Innovations High School will also be expanded under the bond.
According to the school district's website, property tax rates will not increase because of a growing number of taxpayers in the area who have built or purchased homes or opened businesses.
A majority of Morgan County voted to authorize a $49 million general obligation bond to fund a number of building projects, including a new middle school in Mountain Green.
Other projects to be funded by the bond include an addition to Morgan High that would accommodate 300 additional students. Once the new addition is completed, the school's oldest classrooms will be demolished, leaving room for future expansion of the auditorium.
The bond will require a property tax $158.25 a year on a residence valued at $300,000 or a $287.78 increase for a business of the same valuation.
Voters rejected a $58.65 million bond to rebuild South Summit High in Kamas at a cost of $57 million. The rest of the bond would have been used to repair existing buildings.
Voters defeated the proposal, with 55 percent voting against it, with all precincts reporting.
It was the only school bond on Utah election ballots this fall that was endorsed by the Utah Taxpayers Association.4 comments on this story
Despite the defeat of the bond question, “our commitment to preparing our students for college and career readiness will not waver. I am appreciative of the voices on both sides of the issue and certainly keeping communication open is critical as we work together to find solutions to manage growth,” said South Summit School District Superintendent Shad Sorenson in a statement.
Overcrowding will continue to be an issue and “the bond's failure means that we will begin to implement some short-term fixes most likely with portables and exploring models including year-round school or future bond proposals," he said.