West Fargo is voting on the construction of a new elementary schoolFargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A meeting is just underway in West Fargo, to vote on construction of a new elementary school, without a public vote.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- A meeting is just underway in West Fargo, to vote on construction of a new elementary school, without a public vote.
Board members and people in the community are getting the chance to weigh-in on the project at the school board meeting.
Right now people are packed in for what may be their only chance to voice their opinions on West Fargo's latest school project. A new, multi-million dollar elementary school.
That would sit on district owned land right off 52nd Avenue.
Kayla Nelson- West Fargo Parent: "lots of kids"
West Fargo mom Kayla Nelson started to notice the city's rapid growth when they moved in about 5 years ago.
Nelson: "we said we counted like 38 kids on our block"
And more recently, when her son headed to kindergarten. One of the grades currently at max capacity in the district's elementary schools.
Dr. David Flowers- Superintendent: "I think the board would like to get ahead of the curve if they can."
Dave Olson- School Board Member: "We just are struggling with building buildings fast enough."
They've already built one, Freedom Elementary, and are working on another, scheduled to be maxed out when it opens it's doors.
So they want to add a third. But this time, without giving parents the chance to way in.
Olson: "it's a perfect tool to alleviate what we're going through- a population explosion."
If board members decide to go ahead with to project without a vote, construction could begin right here as early as this spring.
Nelson: I think the public should definitely be asked first before they just go ahead and make these decisions."
Flowers: This is authority already given to the board by the voters.
Flowers says because the plan would not increase taxes, the public does not need to ok it.
Instead costs of the 11 to 13 million dollar building would come out of savings from the district's 2011 bond.. And its building fund levy.
Olson: "This building fund that's what it was designed for. We built the Osgood kindergarten center with this fund."
Nelson: "Even if they do have the money left over, or they think that they have enough, I think the public should definitely get a say."
This fall West Fargo should see enrollment numbers close to 4,500 students.
The board should vote tonight on whether it wants to accept its task force's plan. Which, does not include a public vote.