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Published August 15, 2013, 09:02 PM

Detroit Lakes to vote on $59 million school

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Parents sending their kids to school in Detroit Lakes will soon get to vote on one of the district's largest, most expensive construction projects. The district has approved a special November election for a $59 million bond referendum.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Parents sending their kids to school in Detroit Lakes will soon get to vote on one of the district's largest, most expensive construction projects. The district has approved a special November election for a $59 million bond referendum.

Terrie Boyd - School Board Chair: "I think our kids are always worth it"

Detroit Lakes School Board Chair Terrie Boyd is calling for big change at an even larger cost.

Doug Froke - Superintendent: "$59 million would be a large, large undertaking for our community."

$59 million; that's the steep school construction sum. District leaders are hoping community voters will approve come November.

Doug Froke: "In fact, we think this might be one of the largest construction projects in the history of Becker County."

The project includes plans for a new Kindergaten through 3rd grade elementary school on a 40 acre site north on Richwood Road.

Doug Froke: "It's just an issue relative to space in our elementary schools."

Both elementary schools are at max capacity, and with the district quickly growing, the new school would make room for 1,000 more students. The new elementary school would cost roughly $37 million, with the rest of the money going to cover a long list of district wide projects.

Terrie Boyd: "The question is, 'Can we handle it?'"

Other items on the list include a new gym and remodeling at the high school, replacing the middle school's exterior, and a new gym and air conditioning at Roosevelt Elementary, as well as improved security across all levels.

Doug Froke: "We need to change that."

The changes would tack on about $340 a year in taxes for a family living in a $200,000 home.

Terrie Boyd: "Our kids are going to be our leaders of tomorrow, and we need to give them every leg up that we can."

Doug Froke: "We're hoping that people listen to our story about what our needs are."

So they're asking for a yes come election day.

The community will get a chance to vote on the $59 million bond referendum November 5th. Until then, the district is paying land owners to take the potential school site off the market.

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