School Bond 120 Votes Shy of Passing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

School Bond 120 Votes Shy of Passing

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KENNEWICK, Wash--  Have you ever taken a school test and fallen just a little short?  Call it a stretch, but the Kennewick School District knows the feeling all to well.

"To be at 59.29% is rewarding in the sense that it means the public overwhelmingly supported the bond, but it's also a little frustrating because we haven't quite made the super majority," says Kennewick superintendent Dave Bond.

Bond knew it would be a struggle to get that passing grade, but did anyone see it being this close?  The latest numbers show the district is roughly 120 votes shy of passing its $68 million bond that would go to constructing a new school and fixing up aging buildings.

Just last week, crews spent their Saturday fixing leaky pipes at Southgate Elementary, one of the four schools up for repair.

"We were at Southgate last weekend, cutting through concrete, patching more holes underneath the slab," adds Bond.  "These buildings are not going to get any newer the longer we wait."

While the outlook is grim for the bond to pass, the auditor's office isn't calling this a dead issue.

"We have about 10 ballots that we consider good ballots, ballots than can still be processed," says Brenda Chilton of the Auditor's Office.  "And we have about 155 what are called suspended ballots."

Those are ballots that for a number of reasons haven't been counted; wrong signature, postmarked too late, etc.  It is unlikely all of these ballots will be counted, but for now, the bond's not going away.

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