Sherman voters decided against the $308 million bond intended to overhaul the Sherman Independent School District. The final tally was 2,050 for the bond and 2,195 against — a difference of just 145 votes.

(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)

Sherman voters decided against the $308 million bond intended to overhaul the Sherman Independent School District. The final tally was 2,050 for the bond and 2,195 against — a difference of just 145 votes.

“We got edged out,” Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks said. “It was that close, but that doesn’t negate or take away from all of the energy in every meeting, in everything that we do in dreaming for our kids and our future. We’re going to come back and we’re going to make it happen.”

The $308 million bond package, which would have been completed over roughly 20 years and in three construction phases, included a $146 million high school, districtwide technology upgrades, two new elementary schools and a $27-million improvement to Bearcat Stadium either by renovation or the construction of an entirely new arena. Sherman ISD identified aging facilities and overcrowded campuses as the district’s most pressing needs, and, in 2016, assembled a committee of community members to help develop a bond to address those specific issues.

Under the proposed bond, taxes for the average Sherman homeowner, whose house and property are worth $88,000, would have been raised by roughly $17 per month or $202 each year. The district’s interest and sinking tax rate would have increased from its current 27 cents to 50 cents per $100 valuation — the maximum allowed by the state.

“It was way too much money, and they didn’t have a good plan,” Don Bailey, a vocal opponent of the bond, said.

Bailey said he was not celebrating the outcome of Saturday’s election by any means, but rather that he is optimistic a more reasonable proposal would eventually be put forward.

“I think money needs to be spent, but it needs to be spent wiser, and SISD needs to come to the table and negotiate instead of just telling us how it’s going to be,” he said.

And Hicks said that’s exactly what the district will do.

“We’re going to look at tailoring the package that we put before the voters again and seize on the commitment to do the best we can for our kids and our community,” Hicks said.

Asked when the district might come back with a revised bond proposal, Hicks said he was less interested in setting a target date and would be more focused on working with the publicly-staffed Citizens Advisory Committee, which developed the bond proposal after assessing the district’s needs and prioritizing the construction projects.

“Rather than set a date to bring it back, what’s important is that we’re going to go back to our citizens,” Hicks said. “This whole process has been citizen-driven and with months and months of community input. And the results show we’ve had the highest level of engagement in this election than we have in a long time. That says that people recognize the need ... to give our kids the best academic programs and facilities that they can and to do it as a community.”