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Decision time nears for MACCRAY School District

The MACCRAY School District has hosted three informational meetings on the upcoming referendum to decide a $38.8 million bond, and each has attracted crowds of around 60 people or more. Superintendent Brian Koslofsky, left, and Board Chairman Lane Schwitters are shown hosting the MACCRAY East meeting Monday in Maynard. (Tom Cherveny / Tribune)1 / 3
Derek Andol, from left, talks Monday in Maynard with MACCRAY School Board Chairman Lane Schwitters and Superintendent Brian Koslofsky following the information meeting on the referendum coming up Tuesday. (Tom Cherveny / Tribune)2 / 3
Bert Haglund of TSP Architects, left, and MACCRAY School Board member Julie Alsum look over plans Monday in Maynard for the proposed single campus. The last of three informational meetings on the $38.8 million proposal was Monday. The bond question will be decided Tuesday in a referendum. (Tom Cherveny / Tribune)3 / 3

MAYNARD — It's decision time in the MACCRAY School District, as residents Monday in Maynard heard the final of three public presentations on the $38.8 million bond proposal.

Voters in the MACCRAY School District will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to approve the bond for a single-campus proposal. Polls will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. at the school sites in Clara City, Maynard and Raymond.

"The biggest step since 25 years ago when the districts came together,'' is how Superintendent Brian Koslofsky described the decision in a presentation on the project.

The superintendent and board chairman Lane Schwitters spoke to a crowd estimated at over 60 people in Maynard. All three informational meetings have been very well-attended, Schwitters told the audience.

Schwitters said he has not received a lot of questions from people who might not support the proposal, but he and school officials noted that interest is strong. Along with the good attendance at information meetings, the district has seen many absentee ballots returned, according to the superintendent.

With the polls scheduled to be open an additional two hours for this referendum, the superintendent said he expects voter turnout will exceed that of the January 2014 referendum on a single-campus proposal. Voters rejected that measure on a 1,067-to-733 vote.

The proposal before voters Tuesday would construct a 112,910-square-foot, elementary school on the high school campus in Clara City. The building that would house prekindergarten through sixth grade costs an estimated $27.8 million, representing 72 percent of the total project. The project also calls for constructing a 500-seat auditorium at an estimated cost of $5.1 million.

The project calls for razing the West and East elementary schools in Maynard and Raymond, unless they can be sold. The district would not leave them standing vacant for an extended time period, Koslofsky said.

All three of the public presentations have included information on the plans, a rundown on the benefits of a single-campus configuration, and a look at the tax impact for residential and commercial property.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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