For Immediate Release
August 9, 2021
Central Public Schools Board Puts Two-Question Bond Referendum on November Ballot
Referendum considers improvements to facilities needs at both district buildings and athletics areas
At its Aug. 9 meeting, the school board of Central Public Schools voted unanimously to put two bond referendum questions on the November 2, 2021 ballot to have voters consider improvements to all district facilities. The plan addresses deferred maintenance, operational inefficiency, and educational adequacy, with the majority of work taking place at the middle/high school.
“It’s no secret that we have aging facilities with many systems beyond their useful lifespan. Throughout this process, we have identified many areas that just aren’t able to provide the kind of 21st century education that we strive for,” said Board Chair Sara Eischens. “After hearing from community members over the past year on priorities for our school district, we now will ask voters to consider a plan that would touch just about every aspect of our facilities.”
Question 1 would address a variety of issues at both the elementary and middle/high schools including safety, security and ADA accessibility; aging, inefficient systems, and technology infrastructure. If approved, the average home value of $225,000 would see a monthly tax increase of $11.49.
Question 2 addresses all of the district's athletics facilities including a new stadium, upgraded fields, and other improvements. If approved, the average home value of $225,000 would see a month tax increase of $7.47.
Agricultural properties will see relief in taxes thanks to the Ag2School Tax Credit on school bonds that phases to 60% for taxes payable in 2022 and 70% in 2023. This tax credit is permanent law enacted by the Minnesota Legislature in 2017 to lessen the impact of school building projects on farmers.
Since January 2020, the district has completed a facilities study, surveyed students and staff on facilities inadequacies, sought feedback from a community-based facilities task force and conducted a community opinion survey to determine needs and solutions. The process involved assessing the facilities with a focus on improving student learning under the lenses of connectivity, community integration, agility, and collaboration.
“When I started as Superintendent, I immediately started hearing from staff, parents, and students about many of the issues that our buildings have. Getting to take a deep dive into how these things impact daily learning in our district and getting to explore options to address them has been very exciting,” said Superintendent Tim Schochenmaier. “I feel that the plan would truly be a generational fix for our school district, since our buildings have not gotten the necessary updates that they have needed for quite some time.”
The Central Middle/High School building was built in 1935 with additions in 1952, 1962, 1975, 1980, 1982, 1994, and 2011. It’s been nearly 27 years since it last had significant renovation. The elementary school has had some renovation more recently, but has air handling units from 1981 and other system inefficiencies.
The district will be providing information on the referendum in a variety of ways including via a website, social media, mailings, and opportunities for community members to tour the facilities and learn more in the coming weeks. For information, contact Superintendent Schochenmaier at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-467-7000.