All three questions on last Tuesday’s building bond levy referendum for the West Central Area School District failed. This is the second time a major building bond referendum has failed in the last year.
Question number one, which failed 1,279 to 846, or by 433 votes, was to bond for $37,030,000 to finance the construction of a new elementary school in Hoffman, building renovations at WCA North in Elbow Lake, and the demolition of WCA South in Kensington. Question number two, which failed 1,142 to 981, or by 161 votes, was to bond for $4,870,000 to upgrade the Secondary School in Barrett and add a Career and Technical Education addition, STEAM related programming, a fitness center, and upgrade the tennis courts. Question number three, which failed 1,318 to 809, or by 514 votes, was to bond for $5,495,000 to upgrade outdoor athletic facilities including a track and field complex.
These vote totals are unofficial until the school board certifies the count on November 10.
Last fall’s building bond levy referendum failed with similar numbers. Last year there were four questions on the ballot: Number one, which failed 1,535 to 973, or by 562 votes, was to bond for $33,825,000 to build an elementary wing onto the secondary school in Barrett. This would mean closing down both WCA South in Kensington and WCA North in Elbow Lake; Number two, which failed 1,262 to 1,211, or by 51 votes, was to build additional classrooms onto the Secondary School for science and STEAM; Number three, which failed 1,552 to 926, or by 626 votes, was to build a fitness room at the Secondary School; and, question number four, which failed 1,519 to 954, or by 565 votes, was to upgrade outdoor athletic facilities, including the addition of a track and field complex.
WCA Superintendent Dale Hogie commented on Tuesday’s election results.
“It is disappointing to see the election results. There has been an enormous amount of time spent discussing academic programs and district goals and evaluating facility needs and possible solutions.
“The board worked to develop three well-intended proposals that would address current and long term needs of the district with a fiscally responsible and comprehensive approach. Unfortunately, voters in this election did not support the board’s proposals. The WCA Board members have demonstrated a collective commitment to the students and staff of WCA. I know they will continue to support the students and staff as they continue their work toward solutions that voters will approve.”
Voters in the Herman-Norcross school district passed two ballot questions, both by a vote of 171 yes votes to three no votes. Question number one was to renew the school district’s referendum revenue authorization, and question number two was to renew the school district’s capital projects levy authorization.