Sample Ballot: Stillwater Area Public Schools Puts $97.5 Million Bond Proposal Before Voters on May 12

Stillwater Area Public Schools will put a $97.5 million bond before voters in a special election on Tuesday, May 12.

The $97.5 million 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 “tax-neutral” bond request would not raise taxes above what residents are currently paying, according to Stillwater Area Public Schools.

What is this?

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.

Sample Ballot

This bond is a tax-neutral proposal, Nelson said. However, voters may be “confused,” with the language at the bottom of the ballot.

“State law requires us to include language on the ballot that says a “yes” vote would be a property tax increase,” Nelson said. “That’s because if we did nothing, the debt would be repaid and taxes would decrease.”

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

(Note: If you are viewing this post on mobile it’s best to turn your device horizontal to see the table.)

If approved, the proposed bond would pay for:

If approved, construction would be completed by Fall 2017.

Absentee Voting Info:

Here’s a look at the proposed expansion concepts for Stillwater Area High School:

The proposed classroom expansion concept for ninth grade at Stillwater Area High School. (Stillwater Area Public Schools)

The proposed classroom expansion concept for ninth grade at Stillwater Area High School. (Stillwater Area Public Schools)

Aerial view of proposed high school expansion.

Aerial view of proposed high school expansion.

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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