Mounds View School District's $165 million bond referendum passes

ELECTION 2017


2 new board members elected, one incumbent reelected

The Mounds View School District is growing. 
Enrollment numbers reached a 16-year high in 2017 at 11,190 students, up from 9,652 in 2010, according to the school district. 
The district's projected total enrollment for 2024 is 12,740. 

As the district grows, facilities stay the same, becoming more and more crowded and being worn down by more students and staff.
To fund updating buildings and adding additional space throughout the district, a $165 million bond referendum was put to a vote Nov. 7.
The bond referendum passed easily, with 73 percent of voters in favor of the nine-figure appropriation. The bond increases property taxes for the owner of a $275,000 home, the median value in the district, by $197 a year.

Election Day also brings two new members to the Mounds View School Board and the reelection of one incumbent. Diane Glasheen and Shauna Bock won 19 percent and 17 percent of the vote, respectively, and will be the new faces on the board after being sworn in come January, 2018. 

  Diane Glasheen

  Shauna Bock

 

Marre Jo Sager retained her seat on the board, securing the highest percentage of the vote at 22 percent, out of a field of six candidates for three seats.
The new leadership of Glasheen and Bock and the continued guidance of Sager, along with the rest of the school board, will now be entrusted with shepherding the district in this time of enrollment growth and facility expansion. 

  Marre Jo Sager

District growing pains have manifested in undersized classrooms, a lack of student study and collaboration space, cramped lunch space, music lessons and rehearsals being held in hallways and congested drop-off and pickup areas.
Bond funds, according to a Mounds View School Board-commissioned task force presentation to the school board, will go to building more than 40 additional large classrooms, flexible learning spaces, expanded cafeterias, additional gymnasium spaces, additional spaces for staff specialists, expanded music spaces, improved entrances and an updated HVAC system.
The work will be done in phases, possibly beginning as soon as this year. The earliest completion of some work is slated for the end of 2019. Bigger projects should finish up by the fall of 2021. 
The Facilities Planning Task Force was put together to come up with the plan. Its initial findings resulted in a series of recommended improvements totaling $252 million, according to the task force's presentation. 
The school board directed the task force to prioritize projects, and it whittled down the cost to $165 million. 
The $165 million bond referendum passed the school board unanimously, moving the vote to the public, which resoundingly supported the measure. 
The task force, comprised of community members and Mounds View Public Schools staff, including Superintendent Chris Lennox and Assistant Superintendent John Ward, said the improvements in the original recommendations that didn't make the final bond referendum are still very much needed. 


– Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815

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