Election Day: Stillwater Area Public Schools Put Bond Proposal to a Vote

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It’s Election Day.

Stillwater Area Public Schools is putting a $97.5 million bond request before voters today in a special election.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12. Voters may register at the polls.

The “tax-neutral “bond request to improve facilities, includes an addition and renovations at the high school, construction of a new elementary school in the south part of the district and a new transportation hub.

The new elementary school would serve students from Valley Crossing Community School and relieve overcrowding at Afton-Lakeland and Lake Elmo, according to Stillwater Area Public Schools. About 12 sites have been identified as possible locations.

All of the land is west of Manning Avenue and south of 10th Street in Lake Elmo. The majority of the possible elementary school sites are located in Woodbury.

The “tax-neutral” bond request would not raise taxes above what residents are currently paying, according to Stillwater Area Public Schools.

If approved, the bond proposal would maintain – not increase – the current tax payments for the next 12 years, Stillwater Area Public Schools Superintendent Tom Nelson said. After 12 years, the debt would drop in half for the remaining eight years of the 20-year bonds.

Here’s a look at the ballot:

Sample Ballot

Bond Proposal at a Glance:

Without a bond, a taxpayer with a home valued at $250,000 would save about $98 in 2017 and another $146 in 2019.

If approved, the proposed bond would pay for:

If approved, construction would be completed by Fall 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the bond request, according to data from Stillwater Area Public Schools:

Proposed Facility Improvements

 Cost

High School: Additional classroom spaces for ninth graders; remodel science labs; upgrade music rooms and other learning spaces; expand cafeteria and commons areas and improve circulation; add physical ed and gym spaces  $48,025,031 49%
Elementary schools: Reconfigure preschool classrooms; upgrade HVAC at Afton-Lakeland, Lake Elmo, Lily Lake and Oak Park; upgrade playground surfaces at all elementary schools  $9,809,250 27%
Construction of new 500+ student elementary school $25,710,000
Proceeds from the sale of Valley Crossing Community School ($9,030,000)
Other district facility/site improvements: Upgrades to Pony Stadium, restrooms, concessions; multi-purpose practice fields  $7,868,438 8%
Middle schools: Reconfigure to grades 6-8; remodel Oak-Land Junior High science labs; HVAC upgrade at Oak-Land and Stillwater junior high schools  $6,300,000 7%
Capitalized interest: Pay interest up front  $5,317,281 5%
Bus terminal: Construction of bus/maintenance garage (by discontinuing current lease we would save $225,000 annual to our general fund)  $3,500,000 4%
Bond Request Total $97.5 million

 

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