Stewartville Schools Asking for $25M Referendum

Created: 05/08/2014 6:56 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- With a growing population in the Olmsted County area, we've reported on several school referendum’s recently. Stewartville's vote is next, it's coming up in just a couple short weeks. They're looking to add another elementary school for more than $24 million.

It’s a busy place at Bonner Elementary School in Stewartville. Too busy, according the superintendent. “We’ve filled all of our classrooms and we’re looking to grow in the future," said Superintendent Dave Thompson. Which is why they've proposed an additional elementary school. "We would take students from the third grade of our of Bonner Elementary and all of Central. We would take those fourth and fifth grade students and make it a ‘three to five’ building," said Thompson.

The new elementary school would go right across from Bear Cave Park in northwest Stewartville, but it'll only happen if voters give it the "green light".

We got mixed reactions when asking around. "I'm one 100 percent in favor of this," said one resident.

"I think that 24 million is a lot of money," said another resident, and price, is where some voters draw the line.

However, the superintendent hopes people won't look at the more than $24 million price tag and get sticker shock. "Quite honestly, eight dollars a month is what we're looking at for the average home and I think that's do-able for people and certainly I think all the people want to have the best for their children and/or grandchildren," said Thompson.

The hope is to build the new school large enough to accommodate more grades in the future if need be. The money would also go toward upgrades in the current schools, such as security and bathrooms updates. The referendum vote will be on May 20th.

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