The reservation will get a new elementary school, saving some of the tribe's kindergarten through fifth-grade students a 30-minute bus ride to Madras each day. Voters had approved the school in a May 21 referendum, but the vote failed because of low turnout. A second referendum, June 21, passed 655-157. "It's a little unbelievable," said Dawn Smith, principal of Warm Spring Elementary. "I'm excited and relieved." The new kindergarten through fifth-grade school will replace the reservation's current kindergarten through fourth-grade school. About 120 fifth-graders now leave the reservation to attend school in Madras. The new school, scheduled to open in September 2003, will house up to 600 students and include between 80 and 100 fifth-graders within the next five years. The $8 million, 65,000-foot school represents a joint plan by the tribes and the Jefferson County School District.
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