Voters in the Durant Independent School District approved a $48.6 million in bonds last week in a special election.


The district plans to use land behind Durant High School for a new elementary school and the bonds will also fund continued programs and transportation needs.


Proposition No. 1 passed with 69.01 percent of the 939 votes cast, while Proposition No. 2 received 659 votes — 11 more than Proposition No. 1 — to pass with 69.74 percent of the votes.


The vast majority of the ballots cast in the election came on election day, as just 77 votes were cast in early voting for Proposition No. 1 and 76 votes were cast for Proposition No. 2.


Durant ISD Superintendent Duane Merideth has indicated research shows the district will grow by 700 students in the next 10 years.


“We’ve seen the growth coming, we’ve done some things to prepare for that from the standpoint of maximizing the facilities that we have,” Merideth said to KXII. “So we wanted to do everything we can before we got to this point to manage the growth until we were at the point where we had to do this.”


The district intends to begin construction on the new elementary school in the spring of next year with plans for it to open for the 2021-2022 school year.


The passage of the bond will increase property tax in Durant by 5 percent, beginning in December of next year.