CARRIERE, MS (WLOX) - Gage McClinton has done a lot of time promoting renovations to his school that he will never see in his time on campus.
"I definitely think this will affect future generations of Blue Devils for years to come over this entire community," he said.
It's been a long time coming for school officials in Pearl River County. Attendance has been growing while buildings have been crumbling.
On Tuesday, residents approved a 20-year, $18.5 million school bond that will transform the county's two growing campuses. Last year, the effort failed. Everyone agrees that the difference this year was communication.
McClinton and fellow student council members did their part in creating a documentary spelling everything out. "I think the second time what's happen is we revealed the necessity greater," he said. "We've revealed why we need this in a greater, broader scope over the entire school district as well."
This bond issue will have a combination of renovations and new buildings for both Pearl River Central Elementary, junior high and high school. It means bigger classrooms, newer areas for performing arts, better parking and drainage control.
Oh, and one more thing. "We're going to have a teacher bathroom in the library," seventh grade teacher Connie Gore said with a laugh.
She added that the improvements mean something deeper. "Having these new buildings I think is going to help teachers and students have ownership here," Gore said. "And when you have ownership here, that changes the attitude."
Elementary school teachers Aimie Saucier and Katie Johnson, were on the committee to help improve communication in the community. "I'm most excited about the classroom space, that we'll have. Our students will not be crammed in the classes any longer. They'll have safer environments to learn in."
Added Johnson, "You know, we have the future in our classroom and if we have the best of the best for them, their environment, then it's going to give them the opportunity to grow and be successful in the classroom."
Construction could start as early as January. It will take about four years for all of it to be finished.
However, the vote is still not official. The Pearl River County Circuit Clerk's office said that 75 affidavit ballots still have not been processed, because one of them did not have proper ID presented.
That person has been given five days to bring in the proper ID. The votes will be counted at that time. If it doesn't come in, the other 74 will be processed.