VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — Vernon ISD voters have approved a $40 million school bond to build a new elementary school, as well as improve and upgrade Vernon High School.

It was an easy margin of victory for the bond too, with 55% voting in favor.

Vernon ISD plans on merging two school campuses and creating one second-through-fifth grade elementary school, which will house 650 students.

Vernon High School will receive some additions to its campus with a brand new media center. Now that these ideas are a reality, the district is ready to get the plans in action.

Class will soon be in session for Vernon’s newly-approved elementary school.

“I think the community made a decision to make a commitment to our students — not just our students currently, but our future generations of Vernon,” Vernon Superintendent Jeff Byrd said.

Byrd said every design in the upcoming building will be learning-centered and designed to hold attention and focus, something that community members will appreciate.

“In two years when the building – the construction – is complete and our kids are in the building, I think it’s going to give, not just Vernon ISD, and not just our students, but our entire community — it’s going to give them something to be proud of, something that Vernon can hang their hat on,” Byrd said.

Vernon High School will also use part of the bond money to build a state-of-the-art media center that will feature a new front entry, four new classrooms and collaboration spaces for the students.

Byrd said the bond wouldn’t have been passed had it not been for the work of the political action committee that was created to bring attention to the benefits of this bond.

PAC member Kori Eakin said the group’s passion for the bond is what motivated them to get the information out to the community.

“The community was very welcome to it; I think we had to convince a lot, but we had a good group that was very bold and very vocal,” Eakin said. “We just kept knocking down doors, I guess you could say.”

Eakin said she is grateful to her community, not only for supporting the project, but for making their opinions count by taking the time to vote.

“Everybody could agree to vote for it, but getting up and going to go vote was huge,” Eakin said.

Those votes will soon make an impact on Vernon students for years to come.

The school district is still determining the construction timeline, but Byrd said the goal is to move into the elementary school and complete the media center by the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.