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Published January 31, 2012, 10:12 PM

Pelican Rapids High School undergoing multi-million dollar renovation

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) - People in Pelican Rapids can expect their property taxes to go up. It's all part of a multi-million dollar infrastructure improvement project at the high school.

People in Pelican Rapids can expect their property taxes to go up. It's all part of a multi-million dollar infrastructure improvement project at the high school.

After the community voted down a referendum to build a new high school nearly ten years ago, the Pelican Rapids School Board decided to find ways to improve the existing building.

Don Perrin – Pelican Rapids School Board: "Approximately 1000 students, a lot of families who live here."

Over the summer, they plan to bring the ventilation system up to state standards. An air handling system will be installed to cycle in fresh, outside air at higher volumes.

Superintendent Deb Wanek – Pelican Rapids School District: "They've done a lot of studies on the need for fresh air so those updates will help with student learning and keeping them fresh all day long."

The school is also replacing these old steam boilers.

Trevor Steeves – District Maintenance Engineer: "It's like driving that old school bus that carries seventy kids to go get the groceries when you only need a little car."

The high school will be getting four new boiler systems like these two at the elementary school. Using a computer, operators can easily adjust how much heat is created.

Don Perrin: "In the fall you won't need to burn as much fuel to warm it up a little bit."

In January, school board members authorized the sale of bonds to pay for the $4.2 million project. A person with a $100,000 home can expect his or her taxes to go up about $18 a year for the next twenty years.

Because improving air quality is considered a health safety issue, board members are not required to get public approval.

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