School Board Discusses Tax Impact for New Sartell High School, Facility Upgrades
SARTELL - The Sartell-St. Stephen school board started preliminary discussions on how much it could cost homeowners for a new high school and facility updates across the district.
Last month, a community task force recommended the district spend up to $158.4 million over the next 10-to-15 years; $45 million on maintenance upgrades, $25.6 million on educational upgrades, and $87.7 million on new construction – including building a new high school.
Money would be spent to update every school building to address growing space concerns in the district.
The proposed new high school would be 270,000 square feet and would hold 1,350 students. A location for the building is yet to be determined.
The board discussed a possibility on Wednesday night where they would borrow $90 million over 25-years for the facility plan. Under that option, the owner of a $200,000 home could see an impact of $276.28 a year.
There are also 20 and 30-year term borrowing options, which would cost the same home $333.69 or $247.89 in annual tax impact.
School board chair Krista Durrwachter says they're planning to meet again next week to continue specifying costs and numbers.
"I think we're going to start getting some additional numbers and will try to really whittle down what a new high school would specifically cost and on how that fits into the master plan with doing some additional work at all the other buildings."
The district has two voting timelines – May and November – over the next two years, if the school board chooses to bring a bond referendum to the voters.
Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says he expects the school board to make a decision on the timeline sometime in late January.
If a referendum passes next year, the new high school would open in by fall 2019 or summer 2020, depending on if a spring or fall vote is held.