Opinion

Bond issue approved

The approval by Fort Mill voters of both questions in Tuesday's school bond referendum was a sensible vote for the future.

Voters approved a bond issue totaling $95.9 million, which had been divided into two parts on the ballot. The largest and more important one will provide $87.25 for two new elementary schools, a new middle school and land for future schools.

The second authorizes $8.7 million for a stadium on the campus of Nation Ford High School and new auxiliary gyms for both the district's high schools.

The referendum was a response to the flood of new students entering the district over the past three years. The district had the fastest growth rate in the state during the last school year, and the rate of growth is expected to be even higher this year, with roughly 100 students a month moving into the district.

The only reasonable response for a community committed to maintaining its high quality of education was to build the schools necessary to accommodate that growth. And voters responded to that challenge with overwhelming support for this bond issue.

The success of the referendum was not just a lucky accident. Supporters of the bond package kicked off their campaign in January with a rally in the Nation Ford auditorium, during which the audience was entertained by cheerleaders, choral groups and ROTC members. Brochures, yard signs and other materials also were distributed.

That extravaganza was followed by weeks of grass-roots work throughout the community. Committees were formed in every neighborhood, and scores of meetings and forums were held to explain the need for the new schools and the sports facilities.

Churches, civic organizations and other groups were enlisted to help spread the word. Businesses helped finance signs and brochures, and provided space for forums.

In short, this was an effort involving the entire community. And, as Tuesday's results make clear, that effort was a success.

We congratulate all those who helped promote this referendum and all the voters who supported the bond issue. Together, they have helped ensure that one of the best school systems in the state will continue to maintain its level of excellence.

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