ALEXANDRIA — Alexandria Community Schools hoped for a thumbs up from taxpayers on its $19.3 million plan and they overwhelmingly received approval at the polls on Tuesday.
With 100 percent of the vote in, nearly 73 percent who voted on the question agreed to the plan to combine the elementary and intermediate schools and for repairs to Alexandria-Monroe Jr.-Sr. High School.
“We’re just so thankful to the community for their support, their vote and their effort to get out the vote,” said Melissa Brisco, Alexandria superintendent.
Brisco said she expects to take a short break from campaigning to start planning for the actual projects.
“I think there are some little projects that we can start pretty quickly,” she said. “If there are some little things we can knock off the list, we’ll want to start those pretty quickly. But for the bigger things we have to put out to bid, that will take a little longer.”
Brisco said it will be important to keep the community informed every step of the way.
“We’re going to make sure that we’re transparent as we work through these processes because we want to do it right. We want to do it right for the community, for sure,” she said.
Senior Harleigh Bowers, 18, did not attend class at Alexandria- Monroe Jr.-Sr. High School because of the death of her grandfather. But in the middle of running errands, she found time to stop at the Alexandria Community Center to vote in favor of a referendum that won’t benefit her personally.
“I didn’t want to miss it. It was pretty exciting. I registered to vote pretty early because I was ready for the primaries,” she said. “I’m pretty excited about the referendum being passed here because I’m a strong believer that strong schools means a strong town.”
Alexandria intermediate school teacher Jamie Ellis, wife of Police Chief Matt Ellis, spent the day at the Alexandria Church of God polling site as a member of the district’s political action committee to educate voters as they walked in.
“We’ll be here till the polls close at 6, watching anxiously,” she said. Ellis said the voters seemed receptive to her message “We’ve had several people who said, ‘Tell me more about that,’” she said. “We’ve had several people say they came out for the primary just for the Alex referendum vote. Otherwise,
they said they don’t vote in the primary.”
One of those people was Alyssa Sayre, who took her break from work about 2 p.m., to vote in favor of the bond referendum.
“I voted yes because I really want Alex to succeed, and I feel if we don’t do something, we won’t,” she said.
Alexandria school board member Diane Sayre, aunt to Alyssa Sayre, served as a precinct committeeperson and arrived before 6 a.m. to set up the polling site at the community center. She said because there were two wards reporting there, the voter turnout was steady all day.
“I feel really good about it. I just wanted us to get the correct information out so everybody can make the correct decision,” she said.