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High School Students

Safe, Smart and Sustainable

Reimagine Northfield High School

Reading time: Four minutes, 21 seconds

On Nov. 5, 2024, the Northfield School District will ask voters to consider authorizing bonds to reimagine Northfield High School.

Why is it important? How will students, staff and the community benefit?

The Northfield High School facility faces numerous problems. This referendum will address these problems, because the proposal is:

🛡️SAFE

» The building has 40 exits, which is a security liability. The plan will reduce the building’s footprint, decreasing the number of exits and creating better security while ensuring a welcoming learning environment.

🎓 SMART

» Classrooms, science laboratories, culinary kitchens and career/technical shops are outdated and need substantial improvements for students to compete in a modern workforce. The reimagined, flexible classroom design can adapt to future changes and promote high-quality learning experiences. Upgraded facilities and equipment are essential for hands-on learning experiences in science and vocational courses.

» Classrooms have limited access to natural light, providing a dull and uninspiring physical learning environment. Large, efficient windows will improve the physical learning environment. Increased natural light has been shown to improve academic outcomes and positively impact student and staff mental health.

» There is a space shortage for athletic activities and music programs. Expanded gymnasium space will have a cascading impact, consolidating most Raider athletics to the high school site and freeing elementary school gymnasiums for after-school activities and youth sports. It will also expand community access to recreational activities like pickleball and a walking track. New music rooms will provide appropriate space for the renowned band, choir and orchestra programs. The auditorium will be renovated to support the theater program, and updated equipment will enhance usability.

♻️ SUSTAINABLE

» Despite regular maintenance, heating and cooling systems are at the end of their lifespans, posing a substantial risk of failure. Due to the systems’ age and design, students experience temperature extremes during their school day. Replacing antiquated equipment will create a more predictable and comfortable learning environment for students and teachers. It will improve air quality, which has been shown to improve student achievement and mental health. It will also be more efficient, saving utility costs.

🐻 THE “GOLDILOCKS” OPTION

The district has been seeking the right pathway to address the facility problems at Northfield High School since 2017. The voters (and professional scientific surveys) told us that a new building costs too much. Stakeholders have told us that renovation-only is insufficient to support our students. This option is just right. It addresses the facility’s problems while taking a fiscally responsible path.

learn more: Take a tour or attend a presentation

  • The district will offer tours of Northfield High School so the public can see the problems the bond referendum would solve. The tours will include a short presentation, a school tour and an opportunity to ask questions.
  • The district will also offer virtual sessions, providing an opportunity to hear about the proposed referendum and answer stakeholder questions.
  • The district will provide a presentation for any group. Contact Anita Aase at (507) 663-0629 or aaase@northfieldschools.org to schedule a presentation for your group.

View the event calendar

What is on the ballot? What does the plan include?

  • Reimagine NHS Site View
    Click the image to access a PDF file with the satellite view shown above and a building diagram.

    If Question 1 passes, the plan includes a 120,000-square-foot multi-story classroom addition. It involves strategically demolishing the D, H, M and S wings (102,000 square feet) and renovating the remainder of the existing square footage. Cost: $95.38 million.

  • If Question 2 passes (contingent on Question 1 passing), the plan features a gymnasium addition big enough for four full-sized basketball courts. It would dramatically improve indoor physical education, athletic and community recreation access. Cost: $18.725 million.
  • If Question 3 passes (contingent on Questions 1 and 2 passing), the plan includes installing a geothermal system to heat and cool the building. Cost: $6.975 million.

When is the election? Where do I vote?

The bond referendum will be held in conjunction with the general election on Nov. 5. You will vote at your regular polling location. Early voting will begin on Sept. 20.

Find your polling place

How much will it cost taxpayers? How long is the proposed bond’s term?

For a home valued at $350,000, taxes would increase by:

  • Question 1: $307 per year ($26 monthly)
  • Question 2: $77 per year ($6 monthly)
  • Question 3: $29 per year ($2 monthly)
  • Total (if all three questions pass): $413 per year ($34 monthly)
  • If voters approve the bonds, they would be sold for up to a 30-year term. The actual length of the bond would be determined at the time of sale, but it would be no longer than 30 years.

 

View tax impact tables

 View finance schedules

stewardship

The district has a history of being good stewards of bond funds:

  • In 2018, voters approved $41 million to address facility needs at the district’s elementary schools. Because of the district’s AA+ bond rating and a great bid day, the district only bonded for $39 million. The projects were completed as scheduled with approximately 60% of the build time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The district recently paid off the Northfield Middle School debt. Because of diligent attention to the markets, Ehler’s, Inc. estimates that taxpayers paid $4 million less in interest than initially projected.

frequently asked Questions

View frequently asked questions

Additional questions?

Contact Superintendent of Schools Matt Hillmann at (507) 663-0629 or by email at mhillmann@northfieldschools.org.

Updated April 2, 2024

Additional Information