Rochester School Board

Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School Board is a step closer to putting a school bond issue referendum before school district voters this fall.

The board was presented last night with the results of a district-wide survey designed to gauge support for a proposal to add capacity at the elementary and middle school levels. Just over 8200 people responded to the survey and nearly 70-percent indicated the school district should pursue a referendum.

After being informed about the impact on their taxes, 36-percent of the respondents said they would definitely support a base plan costing about $163 million and another 31-percent would probably support the proposal to construct a new elementary school, a new middle school, and rebuild two existing elementary schools to increase capacity. The survey also found strong support for an addition $4.4 million to address security needs in the school district and a slim majority would back funding to update the high school auditoriums. The level of support for several other “add-ons” involving swimming pools and other athletic facilities fell below 50-percent.

The survey also sought to identify the total price tag that might be acceptable to voters in the Rochester School District. The data found it would likely be difficult to convince a majority of voters to support a proposal that exceeded $195 million.

The School Board is expected to review the data over the next couple weeks and possibly make a decision in two weeks on whether to move forward with scheduling a referendum this fall and which projects to include in the proposal.

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