Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Maple Valley again seeks voters' OK to expand Tower City site, close schools in Buffalo and Oriska

TOWER CITY, N.D.--Maple Valley School District voters will go to the polls Tuesday, April 25, to decide if the district should bond for $14.3 million to expand and renovate the high school here and turn it into the sole building for all students ...

This architect's rendering shows the planned south side main entry for a renovated and expanded school in Tower City, N.D., for the Maple Valley School District. Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, April 25, 2017, to decide on the $14.3 million project. Special to The Forum
This architect's rendering shows the planned south side main entry for a renovated and expanded school in Tower City, N.D., for the Maple Valley School District. Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, April 25, 2017, to decide on the $14.3 million project. Special to The Forum

TOWER CITY, N.D.-Maple Valley School District voters will go to the polls Tuesday, April 25, to decide if the district should bond for $14.3 million to expand and renovate the high school here and turn it into the sole building for all students in grades K-12.

Superintendent Brian Wolf said a similar measure fell just a few votes shy of the 60 percent supermajority needed to pass in a September 2016 vote.

A referendum on a plan in April 2016 failed by two votes, and a $10.3 million plan lost by 10 votes in January 2015.

"We have a majority of the people. We're fighting hard for a supermajority," Wolf said Friday, April 21.

The latest proposal calls for building 50,000 square feet of classrooms, with kitchen and a commons area for a new high school at the Tower City site. The existing high school-once renovated-will house the district's elementary-age students, Wolf said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Once that happens, the elementary schools in Buffalo and Oriska will be closed and sold. That is expected to save about $132,000 per year in operational costs.

The bonds would be paid off over 20 years.

To cover the cost of the project, school district taxes would rise 49.15 mills. For a $202,600 home in Cass County, that would increase the annual property tax $448. For a $66,787 home in Barnes County, the annual increase would be $147.72. Cass County cropland with a true and full value of $968 per acre would see a property tax increase of $2.38 per acre, while Barnes County farmland valued at $916 an acre would see a $2.25 per acre increase, according to district documents.

Student enrollment the past five years has ranged between 210 and 240 students and is expected to remain steady, district documents say.

Voters can cast their ballots 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Tower City Community Center.

Wolf said if this measure isn't passed, the School Board will consider raising taxes enough to build classroom space, then combining grades four through 12 in the Tower City school, grades K-3 in Buffalo. Under that plan, the district would close only the Oriska school.

"The School Board is very adamant that they want a K-12 facility in Tower City" eventually, Wolf said.

Related Topics: BUFFALOEDUCATION
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
What To Read Next
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Matt Entz, head coach of the North Dakota State Bison football team, to discuss the pressures of leading the program and how mental health is addressed with his players.
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.