MCPHERSON, Kan. (KSNW) —  McPherson residents voted against an $88.5 million bond that would have gone to improve schools. The vote was 1,843 yes and 2,149 no.

The $88.5 million bond would have created a new academic building at the high school, replacing the old structure from the 1960s. It would have connected to an updated fine arts section. The bond would have provided HVAC updates to every school in the district.

McPherson County Clerk Hollie Melroy said they replaced their central counting machine Monday night to make sure they were ready to count ballots for the school bond. Melroy said it was working Tuesday morning, but it quit working before 9 p.m., and they could not finish the count until a new machine arrived.

McPherson Public School released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

The USD 418 Board of Education expressed disappointment at the initial results of Tuesday’s facilities bond election. As of early Wednesday morning, the bond question fell short with a tally of 1843 yes votes to 2149 no votes. However, these are not final counts, as more than 400 ballots remain to be tallied as of Wednesday afternoon.

The bond project was intended to fund various infrastructure projects throughout the district. The $88 million project would have included a new academic wing for grades 9-12, renovations to the Performing Arts wing, Career Technical Education classrooms, and other existing academic and athletic facilities, as well as improved security and mechanical systems in the elementary and middle schools.

“Community members, staff, students, and families poured a great deal of time and effort into this process. While we are disappointed with what the initial results are indicating, we are grateful to everyone who contributed to this process along the way” said Dr. Shiloh Vincent, USD 418 Superintendent. “As we consider next steps moving forward, we will continue to work together as a community to find solutions to the most critical needs.”

The McPherson County Clerk’s Office will be releasing official results as soon as they are finalized.

Dr. Shiloh Vincent, USD 418 Superintendent