Sauk Rapids-Rice School District Purposes a Referendum to Build a New Elementary School on this November’s Ballot

Saturday, November 02, 2019

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After over ten months of holding listening sessions with the community and assessing the school’s quality and future the Sauk-Rapid school district is offering a referendum to the community on November 5th’s ballot which if passed would make it possible for the school district to build a brand new building for the elementary school. This new building would be built on the same spot and has major potential for upgrading the school for the betterment of the students and the community as a whole.

The Sauk Rapids-Rice school district officials have discussed this referendum at length and agree that the following issues provide good cause to build a new school.

  • Lack of Space – The current classrooms are not adequately designed to effectively serve the student population. The open concept classrooms are not ideal.
  • Structural and Health Issues – The current building has asbestos tiles in the gym and cafeteria. The roof is aging and becoming structurally compromised. The HVAC system is very outdated and should be updated.
  •  Lack of Safe Traffic Flow – Traffic flow during school pick-up and drop-offs is currently unsafe and could be streamlined and organized better with a new building plan.
  • Noise and Safety Issues – Currently, there are no fourth walls in classrooms, making noise and safety/security a current concern for the students.
  • Lack of Compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) – The current building is not up to code with ADA standards, which should be updated for those students who require such assistance.

The district has determined that addressing these issues at Pleasantview Elementary is the most urgent priority. The school board and the district stakeholders have put forward one ballot question in the upcoming November elections seeking a $37.1 million dollar investment to replace the current building with a new one. The district has requested a bond to help achieve this goal, which will allow the necessary investments to be immediately available but will allow repayment of this amount over the next 20 years.

If the referendum passes a new elementary school will be built on the current Pleasantview site and will provide students with a secure and healthy learning environment. The building will feature updated security measures, updated heating, cooling, and ventilation system, and provide students with classrooms that are designed to support today’s curriculum.

For the owner of a median value home of $182,000, the tax impact would be $6.58 per month if the referendum passes. All residents can visit OneStormOneFuture.com and use the tax calculator to determine their estimated tax impact. For owners of agricultural land, the state Ag2School program provides a 50% tax credit. This credit applies to all property classified as agricultural excluding the house, garage and one acre of land surrounding the homestead.

All residents are encouraged to vote on this referendum and give their voice to this proposed project. You can vote early/absentee now through November 4 at the District Office on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Feel free to contact Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools Superintendent Aaron Sinclair with your questions and comments. You can reach him at aaron.sinclair@isd47.org or 320-258-1809.

 

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