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Lee School Board’ Vann, Hatcher overjoyed at referendum’s passage

The bulk of a $11.75 bond issue will go to athletics upgrades at Lee County High

Lee County School Board Chair Sylvia Vann said she was pleased that the county’s voters had enough confidence in the board to pass a $11.75 million bond referendum Tuesday. (File Photo)

Lee County School Board Chair Sylvia Vann said she was pleased that the county’s voters had enough confidence in the board to pass a $11.75 million bond referendum Tuesday. (File Photo)

LEESBURG — Lee County voters passed an $11.75 million bond referendum Tuesday, paving the way for a new field house, artificial turn for the football field, resurfacing of the track around the football field and renovations to the existing field house.

The referendum passed 54.29 percent to 45.71 percent. During the build up to Tuesday’s election, Lee County School Board Chairperson Sylvia Vann made a valiant attempt to cast the referendum as “not all about athletics,” but the numbers say otherwise

Among the bond issue’s proposed expenditures are:

— $6.5 million for a new field house

— $1.2 million to convert the football field to artificial turf

— $1.3 million to resurface the track

— $309,000 for renovations to the existing field house.

The bond also includes $803,700 for new computers and $125,000 for new playground equipment for each of the district’s four elementary schools. More than $9 million of the $11.75 bond issue will go toward athletic upgrades at Lee County High School

“We are very pleased that the voters of Lee County decided to give support to the Board’s decision,” Vann said. “And we are also pleased that the voters had confidence in us.”

The superintendent said work will begin over the summer with paving of the ninth grade school parking lot and the technology roll out. Then the work will begin on the athletic facilities upgrades.

“Of course there is no way those upgrades will be complete this year,” Vann said. “We’ll have to get out bids as soon as we can then we’ll get everything going.”

BOE member Louis Hatcher was the board’s biggest proponent of the athletic upgrades.

“I am overjoyed that the referendum passed,” Hatcher said. “People who are involved with the children of Lee County realize how poorly we have been taking care of our kids. My children are no longer in school, and the reason I got on the Board of Education was to give our children a voice — that’s what we are here for. I am pleased that the voters of Lee County agreed.”