Pequot Lakes School District voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to support a $33.175 million bond referendum.
The 23-1/2-year building bond mostly will be used for building improvements to alleviate space constraints and deferred maintenance projects. It is the result of a three-year strategic planning process, said board chair Kim Bolz-Andolshek at a referendum informational meeting hosted last month.
If the building bond passes, it may only be used for building projects, not wages or benefits.
Highlights of the proposed building project include:
• Constructing an east addition at Eagle View Elementary School and relocating the Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Special Education and School Readiness programs there. This allows the prekindergarten programs to utilize staff and other resources in the building. A kindergarten classroom also would be added.
• Fifth grade would be moved to the middle school in an addition proposed to be built on the north side of the building. Bolz-Andolshek noted that the move may occur even if the referendum does not pass.
• Several Eagle View rooms, including locker rooms, science, media and music classrooms, are being used for regular classrooms because of a lack of space. These classrooms would be reverted back to their intended uses.
• An outdoor courtyard in the middle of the middle school wing at the middle/high school would be filled in and converted to a library for all students and a middle school computer lab.
• The middle gym and its locker rooms would be converted into a cafeteria/commons area. The existing middle school cafeteria would be remodeled into a more efficient serving area.
• Security improvements would be made to allow for one entrance into the middle/high school during school hours.
• A gymnasium would be added to the south end of the high school building, replacing the middle gym. Locker rooms, a weight room and additional science classrooms would be added.
• The district's fleet of buses would be relocated from its existing bus garage, which is too small for the district's bus fleet and has maintenance needs.
• Maintenance projects that have been deferred, such as $750,000 in roofing repairs, boiler replacement and indoor air quality improvements, also would be funded through this bond.
• Other projects include improvements in the parking lot, track and fields.
Bolz-Andolshek said bond rates are at a historic low and construction rates are favorable, creating an opportunity for the district to make needed repairs and remodel at a lower rate.
She said the board conservatively estimated the district could receive a 4.35 percent bond rate. This would create an annual tax impact of $25 on a home with an estimated market value of $100,000. The median home value in the district is $212,000. The bond impact would be $50 per year or $4.17 per month on a home valued at $212,000.
District taxpayers who want to find out how the bond will affect their property taxes may visit the district's website, http://pequotlakes.k12.mn.us.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at two combined polling sites, Pequot Lakes High School and Crosslake City Hall.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
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