742 Wanting to Retry Apollo Remodel Referendum in 2020
ST. CLOUD -- It looks like the St. Cloud Area School District will be taking another shot at remodeling the 49-year-old Apollo High School in 2020.
At their retreat last week, the school board discussed and agreed on the need for a new referendum sooner than later. The 2016 referendum, which was paired with money for the new Tech High School, failed 51 to 48 percent, they asked for $38,750,000.
School Board Chair Jeff Pollreis says they've wanted to retry a referendum since the 2016 one failed. He says they picked 2020 in part because they want voters to see what they got from their "yes" on the new Tech.
"We wanted to do it after Tech High School opened so people can see what they got for their money at Tech. They can tour it, see how we spent their money, and get more of a feel for what 21st-Century learning is. We want both schools to have the same opportunity for kids."
Pollreis says the board is trying to take a proactive approach to Apollo's renovation, so they can avoid running into the issues the old Tech High School had as it aged.
"It's [Apollo] 50 years old next year. We don't have to do with Apollo what we did with Tech, Tech is 100 years old and could've had a lot more work done a long time ago to keep it going. Tough to maintain a building that's 100 years old, let's not let Apollo get in that shape."
It's not official yet, as the board discussed it at a retreat, and didn't officially vote to approve a referendum. Pollreis says they're absolutely committed to putting a vote before the community in 2020, however, they haven't decided on exact timing.
He says they'll completely re-envision what they're asking for in the 2020 referendum.
The next steps will be to start forming committees and doing a lot of community outreach. Pollreis says the board is determined to get this referendum right the first time, after two failed attempts.