ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) – After Tuesday’s vote, $24 million from a bond issue in the Athens City School District is going toward building a brand new Athens high school.

With 58.17% of the vote, residents approved a bond issue Tuesday that will be repaid over a 30-year period. Those who work at the school said it’s time for an upgrade.

“We can patch and patch so much, but we’re at the point where we have to replace,” said Athens High School Principal Chad Springer. 

Ceiling leaks, cracks in the floor and poor ventilation are just some of the issues Athens High School faces on a day-to-day basis, but things will soon be changing.

Last night’s vote passed with 58% of voters in favor – and it’s the second time in a decade a bond issue has been approved for this project.

“Do we build a new high school? Do we take what we have and keep what we have and retrofit or replace, repair, replace. The [costs] were equivalent, if not more, to keep what we had at that point,” Springer said. 

Original plans were delayed because of COVID-19, and it made some residents question if the issue should pass.

“It was never a question of whether we’re building a new high school or not,” Springer said. “That was always part of this master plan. So for the community to continually provide and, you know, help with that, it’s always greatly appreciated.”

The project will also be getting more than $28 million from the state. Springer also noted a new building will bring more security and stability for the students.

“I’m excited because I’ve been in this building, you know, going on 12 to 13 years. It’s time to build a building this community deserves,” Springer said. 

There is currently no timeline on when the project will be completed.