Voters in Grand Island have decided against a $24-million bond issue 57% to 43%.
More than 8,000 people turned out to vote in the special election Tuesday.
Election Commissioner Dale Baker said that about 33% of eligible voters turned out to cast ballots, a little more than normal for a special election.
The bond issue proposed building a new middle school and a new elementary school. It also proposed converting Westridge Middle School into a new elementary school, remodeling the auditorium at Grand Island Senior High, remodeling Starr Elementary into a preschool center and building classroom additions to Howard Elementary and Starr Elementary.
School officials said the changes were needed to help the school deal with increasing enrollment.
Superintendent Steve Joel said already classrooms are "busting at the seams."