ST. CLOUD - The owner of a $150,000 home can expect to pay an additional $218.35 a year if the St. Cloud school district referendum passes in November, according to new numbers released this week.

The $167 million referendum includes $113.5 million to build a new Tech High School and $46 million to update Apollo High School. The remaining money will be used to update district technology and security at eight area schools. Voting will be on November 3rd.

Proposed new entrance for Apollo (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota)

Barclay Carriar is the co-chair of Neighbors for School Excellence, a group that supports the referendum. He says a new Tech would benefit the entire community, not just parents with children in area schools.

"Strong schools and a well educated student population helps the vibrancy of a community, it helps property values and as a result-it benefits residents in the community who may not have school aged children."

Barclay says they are working to explain to the entire community how the referendum will be beneficial.

The possible referendum impact for a 40 acres agricultural homestead would be $382.12 per year. A $250,000 commercial or industrial property would pay an additional $713.85 per year.

Carriar says the nearly 100 year old Tech High School is out of date and would likely cost just as much or more to rennovate compared to building a new school. It's estimated over the next 10 years the district would need to invest $100 million or more to keep the building up to date.

The proposed new Tech High School would fit 1,800 students and would have 360,000 total square feet for 200 square feet per student. Apollo High School is 45 years old, district officials have stressed the importance of updating its entrance and interior to create more hallway space.

"It's an old school that is not well designed for 21st century learning. Additionally, there's a lot of maintenance that will need to be performed if it continues as a high school."

The Neighbors for School Excellence has more information on the referendum on their website.

Submitted Photo