School district is looking for Yes vote on school bond referendum

Dickinson, ND needs a new public high school and community leaders want your vote.

Dickinson’s Vote Yes Committee is asking voters to vote Yes on a $115 million bond maturing within 20 years.

The funds will go toward constructing a new 1,600 capacity high school, and any remaining money would go toward a future elementary school.

The district is dealing with overcrowding in its schools with the high school already near capacity.

High school principal Kevin Hoherz said the school’s enrollment was around 1,000 students this Fall, and it is projected to climb to around 1,200 by the Fall of 2022 with the consistent 4 percent growth the district is seeing each year. 

The school is more than 50 years old, and its capacity level is for 1,100 students.

Former Dickinson High School principal Ron Dockter, who is one of the members of the Vote Yes Committee, said members are currently going around town answering questions residents might have about the bond referendum.

He said two questions people have is why does the district need such a big school, and why can’t the school just be remodeled and expanded?

Docker said the district would spend about $30 – $52 million on capacity needs such as expansion/modular space and deferred mainteneneace. 

The money spent on expansion wouldn’t address the school’s growing enrollment and overcrowding issues it is facing in the classrooms, cafeteria, and extracurricular spaces.

Docker said another main question people have is what kind of impact will it have on taxes?

“Right now on a $100,000 home, your taxes will go up  $19.38 per month, so people are really interested in that”.

The vote for the school bond referendum is May 7th for Dickinson voters, and the next public engagement meeting is March 28 at the Dickinson High School auditorium.

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