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Published November 06, 2013, 07:01 PM

Pelican Rapids Referendum Passes

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) - After several years and several votes, Pelican Rapids will finally go ahead with improvements to the high school.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Pelican Rapids, MN (WDAY TV) - After several years and several votes, Pelican Rapids will finally go ahead with improvements to the high school.

A $22,000,000 bond referendum passed by just over 100 votes

The signs are still up in the yards, but the battle is over.

Jessica Fahje on the Vote Yes committee says she's excited that her three young children will get to attend the updated Pelican Rapids high school.

Jessica Fahje/ “Vote Yes” Committee: "It's been a very long time coming, we are so excited!"

It started in 2005 with a proposal to build a new school.

When that failed, a task force came together to figure out which projects were priorities.

That new plan was defeated this past March. But between then and now the project gained about 500 yes votes. Supporters say that's all thanks to spreading the word.

Lori Erickson/ Voted Yes: "My son came home with a bunch of friends, they voted, and they voted yes, and they know what needs to be done there."

"The 22 million dollar project will cover updated classrooms, wider hallways and a remodeled handicap accessible fine arts auditorium."

The proposal passed despite help on the "vote no" campaign from a man credited for taking down referendums nationwide.

Paul Dorr, a consultant out of Iowa says his goal is the demise of public schools.

But Fahje says the fact that they hired an "extreme outsider" hurt the vote no case.

Fahje: "People in Minnesota don't like that. We are very protective of our community."

We tried to get in touch with Dorr today.

Voicemail: "I can't come to the phone right now."

But our calls were not returned.

Erickson: "Goliath 0, David 1. We are a small community, but we a huge community."

Fahje: "I'm so glad we don't have to do it again!"

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