Minot voters can expect another school bond vote in the spring of this year.
When a 125 million dollar bond proposal went down to defeat in December of last year, Minot Superintendent Mark Vollmer said the school board would likely re-group, and try and develop a new plan to bring forward to voters.
They have done that...and the details are being ironed out now.
Perry Olson has the that today.
125 million was simply too much...that was the message sent by Minot Public School voters at the ballot box on December 10th...and after...
(Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "Board members talked to a lot of folks in the community and the message was that the bond was so big. It spread too far with elementary, middle, and high school. It was 125 million dollars. This takes care of the immediate concern."
The 'This' that Vollmer speaks of, is a new, scaled-back bond request that will presented to voters in the spring. It will ask for what should be between 30 to 40 million dollars to build a new four-section elementary school, similar to what Longfellow has become, add on to Perkett and Edison making them four section schools as well, and improve security throughout the district.
(Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "The primary concern now is of course is the elementary where 21 of our 24 portable classes are located. What we need to do is deal with this one first."
The exact dollar figure needed for the work is being calculated now. Prior plans are a year old...and rising prices for construction will change the cost.
(Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "Want to make sure that we have an accurate figure on that and when we come back to the board for another meeting we will have the final amount along with the question that will be on the ballot and the date of the election."
The vote must happen before May 15th. That is the deadline set by the State of North Dakota for the district to qualify for a 20 million dollar loan at a reduced interest rate. Vollmer says the overcrowding keeps getting worse. In fact, student numbers now in January are even higher then in December.
(Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "It doesn't take care of the big picture, but it gets us moving in the direction of getting students out of portable classrooms and into brick and mortar buildings."
In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.
The exact date of the vote and the amount that will be asked for will be approved by the School Board by February 6th.