UPDATE: The $247.5 million measure has 55% support from voters, according to Wednesday's results.
Sherwood School District voters have approved a $247.5 million bond measure to improve school facilities, curriculum and security.
As of Wednesday morning, with 72.44 percent of the ballots counted, 54.9 percent or 5,739 voters had voted in favor of the bond measure (with 45.1 perent or 4,723 voters opposed), and school board members expressed gratitude and appreciation for the community's support.
"We feel really, really grateful to the voters of Sherwood who supported our kids and addressed the real needs of the community," said board Chairwoman Jessica Adamson on Wednesday morning. "We are really grateful they recognized the needs of our kids and were willing to support them by voting to resolve these issues."
The Sherwood School District has a long history of working closely with its patrons and seeking their input as issues have arisen, and that will continue, according to Adamson.
"We look forward to engaging with everyone as we get the work underway," she said. "Our community is all about families, and kids getting a great education is something we all do together. The schools belong to everyone, and I'm pretty proud to be part of a community that is engaged."
The bond measure will pay for the construction of a new high school on a new site and convert the current high school into a large middle school. It also will provide for districtwide safety and security upgrades plus deferred maintenance; in addition, it will cover curriculum and technology improvements plus bond issuance costs.
School board Director Sue Hekker echoed Adamson's comments, saying, "I am so grateful to the community for passing the bond measure. It's hard to tell how a vote will go, but the feedback was pretty positive, and there is a trend to support education in Sherwood."
However, she added that what the bond measure encompassed was very complicated with a lot of changes to the schools.
"It was not simple to explain, but we feel people understood it," said Hekker, adding that social media now plays a big part in influencing voters.
"We felt really good going into it, but you never know for sure what the outcome will be," she said. "I'm just grateful to the community, and now we need to get to work on all these needs."
According to projections, after all the bond measure projects are completed, the district's facilities will still be slightly under capacity in 10 years.
"It's exciting to have flexibility in our capacity for all kids," Hekker said. "We've never had that before. Even during the recession, our growth was 29 percent even though there was not a lot of building going on."