The Minot Public School Board will ask voters to approve a $125 million bond referendum to pay for new school construction and to improve school security. The bond would be for 20 years.
The board approved the preliminary resolution at a meeting early Monday morning. No firm date has been set for the bond issue election, but Dec. 10 is a likely date.
Board president Jim Rostad said, if approved, the $125 million would pay for construction of a new elementary school on land the district already owns in southeast Minot; the purchase of land and construction of a second 9-12 high school somewhere in north Minot; classroom additions and renovations at various existing elementaries; conversion of Minot High School-Central Campus into a fourth middle school for the district; and purchase of new security cameras and relocation of administrative offices to the front of various schools in Minot.
Business manager Scott Moum said a $125 million bond issue would increase school property taxes for the owner of a $200,000 home by $456 per year or 51 mills.
Supt. Mark Vollmer said the school district is facing rapid population growth and is relying on portable classrooms set up outside schools as a stopgap measure.
"In five years, we are going to be short over 350 seats in our middle schools," said Vollmer, even without additional increases in student numbers. He said all indications are that the growth will continue. There are currently 7,348 children enrolled in the school district.
"I think it's time," said board vice president Roger Kluck. "It covers it very well. It's time to address the growth in our district."
Board member Brenda Foster said the public has had several opportunities to give input on the future of the district at public forums.