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East Valley school bond fails

The third time was not the charm for the East Valley School District. The district’s most recent construction bond measure appears headed toward failure, leaving the district unsure how it’ll renovate and repair schools.

The bond, which failed twice in 2008, was slightly revamped, asking voters for $34.5 million to renovate the district’s two middle schools, and repair roofs and heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems at the elementary schools. The measure got 50.6 percent approval Tuesday, but a bond requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Previous attempts got about 55 percent approval.

District officials don’t know what they’ll do next, said Superintendent John Glenewinkel.

“We don’t have an answer yet,” he said. “We will pull together the main players as soon as we possibly can and have a discussion.”

Glenewinkel said he was caught off guard by the results after a November poll indicated 80 percent of voters would support the bond.

“I was extremely surprised,” he said. “Based upon that poll, it’s hard not to be disappointed. We have to put an issue before our voters they feel they can support. Obviously this was not the right issue right now.”

Glenewinkel said he was gratified the district’s replacement maintenance and operations levy was passing with 56 percent approval. Levies require approval by a simple majority.

Levy money provides 19 percent of the district’s annual budget.