The levy fell way short of the two-thirds yes votes needed to pass, in what became a highly-charged campaign.
5,388 voters, or 52 percent, voted in favor of the measure, with 5,044, or 48 percent, voting against, in an election that saw a 59 percent turnout of registered voters.
Supporters of the measure gathered in the courthouse hallways Tuesday night waiting for the outcome. They say they'll need to regroup after tonight's outcome.
"Obviously we'll have to pause, regroup, because the deficiencies and needs for the 21st century education Lewiston aren't going to go away," said Lewiston Schools Superintendent Joy Rapp.
The issue has divided some in the community and the question is will the ill will spillover after the election.
"I'm hoping not, because obviously everyone has a right to have their opinion," said Rapp. "We really worked on trying to get actual facts out there and hope that we succeeded in doing that. The community has got to move forward."
Genesee Schools patrons passed a $700,000 Maintenance and Operations levy, on a 357-242 vote. Officials say that count is not final until the votes have been canvassed.