At a special meeting on July 24, the Board of Education officially voted to hold a November 7, 2017, election for the purpose of expanding and extending the current operating levy and for the purpose of selling bonds to implement components of the Master Facilities Plan.
The action follows a three-year process that included a demographic study, a professional facilities analysis study, 25 public meetings, online engagement using the ThoughtExchange platform, and multiple Board work sessions. This intentional and thorough process included hundred of stakeholders providing feedback during the development of the Master Facilities Plan and influenced the Board’s decision to ask that voters revoke the District’s current operating levy and replace it with an operating levy at the maximum amount allowed under state law as part of the same referendum election as any potential bond question.
A two-question referendum election will be held on November 7, 2017. The first question will ask voters to revoke the current operating levy and replace it with an operating levy increased by $470.15 per pupil. The second question, contingent upon the first question passing, will ask voters to authorize the District to sell $109 million bonds to finance the components of the Master Facilities Plan. This includes constructing a new high school on the current high school property and demolishing the existing high school, constructing a new elementary school at the same location as the current Greenvale Park Elementary site and repurposing that building as an early childhood center, and modest renovations or additions at Bridgewater Elementary, Sibley Elementary, and Longfellow School. The new high school is estimated to cost $78.5 million and the elementary projects are projected to cost $30.5 million.
You can read Superintendent Matt Hillmann’s referendum proposal to the Board by clicking here and can see a tax impact statement by clicking here.
District administrators are working to prepare additional information and details for the Fall referendum election. Watch the District website for more information in early August. If you have questions about the referendum or the Master Facilities Plan, contact Dr. Hillmann.