Brighton Area Schools $88.4 million bond proposal passed on Tuesday, with a surprising amount of people showing up to vote.
According to the Livingston County Clerk's office, 9,445 (32.29 percent) of registered voters in Brighton Area Schools communities made it to the polls. Only 23 percent of all Livingston County voters made it out during the Presidential Primary in February.
It was a close election, with the bond proposal expected to pass with all 100 percent of precincts in. Unofficial results show there were a total of 4,969 yes votes and 4,476 no votes cast.
The vote means that the district will see new technology, athletic facilities upgrades like a new pool and artificial turf football field, better security at all schools and building updates such as roofing, plumbing, ventaliting fixes and much more.
Several months leading up to the election, parent groups like Yes for BAS organized campaigns to urge voters to vote yes on the proposal. Mark Wilson, a Brighton parent and Farmington Public Schools Administrator was among them.
"I think it's really exciting that almost 10,000 people who are passionate about school got out there and voted," Wilson said. "I don't know what brought 500 more on our side, but I think regardless of which side of the issue people were on, this created a lot of passion and a lot of excitement around our community for our schools."
Wilson said the focus of the campaign were the needs of the district and the kids.
"I think we opened the eyes of the community to things that really need to be done," he said. "The other campaign really spoke to the issue of the sneaky election. That made it so our side really made sure that we made our campaign extremely public, extremely transparent and extremely open. We wanted to make sure that there was nothing sneaky about it. We encouraged everyone that we could possibly encourage to get out and cast a ballot for what they think is right."
The next step, according to Brighton Superintendent Greg Gray is to get down to design work.
"We need to put some subcommittees together to make sure that we're good stewards of the money the community just entrusted to us. There's a lot of work ahead, but it will be worth it. I think it will benefit the community for a long, long time."
Gray said the district will most likely see new technology as soon as this summer, but it would take at least six to eight months before any work on facilities.
There were some concerns raised during Monday night's Board of Education meeting regarding bids on the project and Trustee Bill Trombley working for Granger Construction Company. Residents are concerned that if Granger bids on district projects, it will cause a conflict of interest.
Gray said that all bids more than $18,000 has to be a sealed bid and that Trombley would have to abstain from those votes.
"I think it (the bond) made sense," Gray said. "When you take a look at what it cost and the benefit to the community and the kids of Brighton, it just made sense. We're pleased with the results and we're happy for the kids of Brighton, and more importantly the community. It's a big shot in the arm for the community."