PEQUOT LAKES -- Pequot Lakes School District residents will head to the polls once again this spring.
The Pequot Lakes School Board agreed Monday to pursue another referendum. The proposal calls for an estimated $27.88 million bond referendum that residents will vote on in two parts. Residents will vote from noon to 8 p.m. May 22 at the Pequot Lakes and Crosslake city halls.
Superintendent Jim Oraskovich said the board's long-range planning committee reviewed concerns the public had over the referendum that failed in December. The primary reasons it failed were cost and the impact on property taxes, people wanted more details on the plans, people wanted different polling hours and sites, people said they needed more trust from the administration and validity of the facts of the referendum, and they would have liked to have the project divided into two questions.
After reviewing district needs and changing the previous referendum proposal, the board agreed to have an estimated $27.88 million bond referendum and divide it into two sections.
First, district residents will vote on an estimated $23.48 million bond referendum. This proposal includes a new elementary school in Breezy Point and renovations to the existing elementary and high school buildings to accommodate middle-level students. The middle-level students would be housed in the current elementary building.
This amount includes additional music classrooms and money for the district to use for the future for land.
Residents will then vote on a $4.4 million bond referendum that could only pass if the $23.48 million bond referendum passes. This proposal would combine the media centers at the high school and elementary school and be located at the existing elementary site. The family and consumer science area would then be relocated and new science and computer labs would be developed.
This ballot question also would encompass completing minor work at the existing elementary building to accommodate the middle level students.
"I think these changes are good," said Oraskovich. "It helped us answer concerns brought to us and we did significant changes to the work."
Items that were eliminated from the previous proposal include additional classrooms to the school and the renovation of the locker rooms.
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