SARTELL - The Sartell-St. Stephen school board approved a special election and ballot this week, containing a $105.8 million question for a new high school and facility updates district wide.

The sample ballot comes with one question and highlights in all capital letters at the end: "By Voting "Yes" on this ballot question, you are voting for a property tax increase." The referendum will be on May 24th.

The district wants to bond $105.8 million over 25 years. Here’s how the money would be used:

  • $89.5 million would be spent on a new high school.
  • $1.7 million would go to Pine Meadow.
  • $650,000 would go to Oak Ridge.
  • $2.55 million would go towards the middle school (which would become a 3rd-5th grade intermediate school).
  • $10.55 million would go to the existing high school (which would become a middle school).
  • $850,000 would go towards borrowing costs.

The bond would increase property taxes on a home valued at $180,000 by $267.54 a year ($22.30 a month).

If the referendum passes, a new Sartell High School would go on a piece of land next to Oak Ridge (on the north side). The current high school would become a 6-8 middle school, the current middle school would become a 3-5 intermediate school. Both Pine Meadow and Oak Ridge Elementary would become facilities that support four-year-olds through 2nd grade.

The district has discussed a possible new high school for months in order to alleviate space crunches in the district due to growing enrollment.