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Bond referendum vote comes up short

The future of students in the West Fargo School District was in the voters' hands Tuesday as polls opened for the much publicized bond referendum.

Now, at 140 votes short, it looks like the district is back to the drawing board.

With only 57.4 percent of the 60 percent yes votes required, school board members and district officials will have to figure out different ways to deal with overcrowding in the classroom.

The $40 million referendum would have paid for construction of a new $30 million high school and new $10 million elementary school.

There were slightly more voters who turned out for Tuesday's election (5,339) than last year (4,538). Of Tuesday's voters, 3,064 voted "yes," while 2,275 voted "no."

It was thought that the reworked referendum would be an answer to last year's failed $65 million referendum, in which only 51 percent of voters voted yes. Officials had hoped the $25 million price decrease would have gathered more support.

The earliest the West Fargo School District can bring another building referendum to the voters would be in one year.