New chairman Jim Kelly and member Mike Taylor protested against citizen's comments, saying their opportunity to speak had been given more than once during the multiple meetings and public hearings.
"I really feel like we've had those opportunities..." said Kelly. Taylor agreed that the time for discussion had passed, and it was time to make a definite decision.
One mother said the school board hadn't thought this decision through and asked them to do more research before voting.
"A lot of things I've asked haven't been looked into, and have you really looked into this enough to make this big of a decision?" asked Teresa Gilpin.
Hacker said those concerns should have been voiced much earlier, but he appreciated hearing them now.
Hacker recommended redistricting to help the overcrowded Stanford and Hustonville elementaries. He said that, after further research, he believed converting Kings Mountain into a middle school was not necessarily the best plan.
Motion made to send facilities plan back to planning committee
"When I had the choice of two things to do, I thought this was the best one, but since then I've been educated." Hacker soon after made the motion to send the plan back to the planning committee and take no action as a board.
Kelly questioned board attorney Jim Williams and Superintendent Teresa Wallace about what would happen in the case of a plan refusal by the board.
"I don't know what would happen if they voted it down; nobody's ever done that," said Wallace.
Former chairman Tom Blankenship then seconded the motion, which was also approved by David Hacker and Mike Taylor. Randy McGuffy and Jim Kelly dissented.
McGuffy was noticeably concerned with the refusal of the state's recommendation and parents' comments. "I'm the last person who wants to close the school and put a padlock on it, and as I've told the people who have called me, I support this plan for one reason, because it keeps the school open."
Soon after the vote was taken, McGuffy resigned from the facilities planning committee.
"I don't feel like donating any more time, after the way it's been done," said McGuffy.
The empty seat at the planning committee has now become one of several board concerns. The state could now take the facilities plan out of the board's hands.
Wallace could not advise the board on what action the state would take at the negative vote, but some members predicted the worst.
"If we vote it down tonight, we'll probably never see it again. The state will make the decision for us," said Kelly.
"We hope that whatever decision we make, we can look back in five years and say it was the right one."