However, the vote is by no means the last word, instead starting a long and braided path to a school in the future that could be new, could be a renovated one.
Thursday night's vote agreed with a plan out of Frankfort, where state funds are divvied up, that puts a $6.1 million new 650-pupil school at Clarkson at the top of the needs list.
But Superintendent Teddy White told the committee this state money is allocated in the halls of the Capitol among all the counties with needs lists similar to the one the committee approved Thursday and that the school board is expected to approve May 12.
Number 2 on the list is expansion at Lawler to relieve overcrowding, followed by fixing the same problem at Wilkey Elementary.
White said the state money is crucial to a new Clarkson school, "because the district's building fund only has about $2 million in it now."
Both White and Associate Superintendent Barry Anderson said they had received assurances from area legislators that they would work hard to shunt the flow of state money Clarkson's way. Yet, the plan must get an okay from the State Board of Education and the state's School Facilities Construction Committee before legislators will even see it.
Helping Clarkson on this score is a $17,000 architect's evaluation of the school that gave it a rating of 5, meaning there was an urgent need for a new school.
Then, White said he would have to dampen enthusiasm on that score, "because there's a move afoot in the legislature to do away with urgent need funding, letting local districts pass local 5-cent building taxes instead."
He said, too, that if the $6.1 million is approved, "and we should know in the next session, it's probably not enough to build the kind of school we need, but with the $2 million locally, it might be possible."
Clarkson's Mayor Bonnie Henderson told the committee the new school was "very important to the city, very important that it be in the city, and please don't let up on the effort."
She said that if negotiations for land in Clarkson fall through, "I can help you with leads on land that might be available."
Ed Nichols of Clarkson, said he felt it "is very important that we get the land as soon as possible, because if we have a place to put the school, we're more likely to get funds for it."
White said he couldn't talk publicly about land buying, but did say that one possible seller had backed out on selling, and another one was "still thinking about it."
He promised to get Thursday's vote approved by the district board, and Carolyn Thomason, chairman of the board, said that would be done in time to get all the approvals to the state board for consideration in June.
"As soon as the school board approves," White said, "I'll e-mail that plan, the one with a new Clarkson School at the top of the list, to Frankfort."
He said the urgent need funding is money placed into a pool of funds, then allocated to the districts in equal amounts, funding the No. 5 schools first. Last session, he said, saw 16 schools statewide funded.
Committee Member Wilbur Etter asked if the 650-pupil size was large enough to accommodate future growth that seems to be on the upswing in the eastern end of the county.
Educators on the committee, however, said 650 students in an elementary school is the prime number for effective teaching and learning. Clarkson has 588 students now.