Q. Did the school board and admin team look at repairing the existing buildings?
A. Yes, The Staples-Motley School District has considered two options. They are: combining all schools to one location at the Staples Elementary site renovating of the existing elementary and adding significant new construction to support all grades PK-12. This option was about $74 million.
The other option the Staples-Motley School District considered was renovating much of the existing spaces at the existing elementary and high schools to be like new, removing and replacing the oldest parts of the high school as well as new additions to support 21st-century curriculum/programming. This option was approximately $48M and was on the tax tolerance target as provided by a survey of the school district’s citizens. This the option the school district selected.
Q. Is local property owner the only source of funding for the Build 2170 plan?
A. The answer is no. 9% is paid for by the State of Minnesota through an agriculture tax credit and other credits paid directly to the S-M school district; ~49% is paid for by landowners who do not live in the school district (eg - resort/cabin owners, BNSF, etc.). The remaining 42% are paid for by local property taxpayers who live in the district. Essentially, the local taxpayer (who lives int eh district) will only pay $0.42 for every $1.00 spent Furthermore, Lakewood Health Systems has agreed to contribute $1.5M towards a walking track in the requested activity center (Ballot Question #2).
Q. Where will the Early Childhood/Little Cardinals Academy be located?
A. Early Childhood/Little Cardinals Academy will be located in the Motley building. By moving all of the Early Childhood services to the Motley building will allow the district to increase programming and the number of services that are available to the community.
Q. How long will it take to pay off the referendum to repair our schools?
A. It will take 25 years to pay off the referendum to repair our schools. The repairs we are making will serve future generations to come. This building project will match the high level of education that the staff provides to our students and gives students the opportunity to learn in a modern learning environment.
The proposed bonds have a term of 25 years which is less than the typical 30-year mortgage or allowable bond term established by state statute. In order to better manage the small amount of existing debt, the new debt will roll into the place of the debt falling off keeping the impact to our taxpayers low.