NLS, Minnewaska seek building levies; Lac qui Parle Valley, ACGC and Yellow Medicine East seek operating levies
Several area school districts will have ballot questions on Election Day Nov. 4. Voters in two districts will decide whether to approve bonding to pay for building projects. School districts are required to seek voter approval in order to sell bo...
Several area school districts will have ballot questions on Election Day Nov. 4.
Voters in two districts will decide whether to approve bonding to pay for building projects. School districts are required to seek voter approval in order to sell bonds to pay for building projects.
Three districts are seeking a renewal or an increase in their existing operating levies. Operating levies are used to pay for school operations. It is the only way school districts can raise local taxes beyond the amount set by the state of Minnesota.
New London-Spicer School District is asking voters to approve a $14.6 million bond levy to pay for school facility improvements, including a performing arts center, a gymnasium with an attached fitness center, and remodeling to the district’s school buildings.
According to information from the district, remodeling is needed to provide appropriate space for individualized instruction and to develop safe and secure school entrances. The plan includes more locker room and storage space and plans for safer pick-up and drop-off areas for cars and buses.
New construction includes a performing arts center with an auditorium for school music and theater performances at the high school. A new gymnasium fitness center would provide room for gymnastics and include a suspended walking track. Also new would be a “cafetorium” at the elementary school to serve as a cafeteria and a performance space as well as a place for individualized instruction.
The Minnewaska Area Schools, based in Glenwood, is seeking a $8.75 million facility improvement effort and a $200,000-a-year technology levy for 10 years.
According to information from the district, the facility levy would pay for roof replacements; parking lot lighting and improvements; and maintenance on masonry, walls and windows. Also needed is asbestos abatement and improvements in the technology infrastructure.
The technology levy is a second question which can only be approved if voters approve the facility question. The technology levy would pay for the purchase or maintenance of mobile devices and computers, as well as software and staff training. A plan developed by the district would increase the number of mobile devices in stages until the 2018-19 school year, when all students in grades K-12 will have a school-issued tablet or other mobile device.
Two districts are asking to renew existing operating levies that are about to expire.
The Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District proposes renewing an $804.65 per pupil levy for 10 years.
Lac qui Parle Valley School District seeks renewal of an $866 per pupil levy for 10 years.
Yellow Medicine East School District is seeking to add $695 per pupil to its operating levy for the next 10 years.
A $601-per-pupil operating levy was approved in 2006. According to information from the district, the increase in the levy would be used to maintain small class sizes, update the district’s technology infrastructure, and offer more elective classes at Yellow Medicine East High School. It would also be used to add science, technology, engineering, arts and math education throughout the district.