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St. Francis Area Schools
A PreK-12 public school district serving the communities of Athens Township, Andover, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the major components of the referendum?

A detailed summary of the proposed improvements by building is available on the District’s website. In general, major components are as follows:

    • Improvements necessary to address deferred maintenance and physical facility needs within the existing District facilities including replacement of aging …
Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:42PM
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What is different in this referendum compared to the last one?

  • The District is seeking approval on a single $80,060,000 ballot question to minimize confusion and complication and to maintain current tax levels. There is no second question related to an activity center.
  • The improvements scope for the stadium is limited to addressing ADA and accessibility issues …
Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:42PM
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Was there any input on this, or did the District come up with this on its own?

The District has been planning and positioning itself to be able to present a complete, comprehensive, long term solution to the public that solidifies the educational and physical wellbeing of the students, staff and facilities within the District. At multiple points over the past year, check in …

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:42PM
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What is the review process for this work – does the Department of Education get involved?

The District has provided the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) with all of the required documentation for the proposed improvements and referendum in the form of a “Review & Comment” submittal. The MDE will review all submitted information to ensure that the project is both fiscally sound…

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:42PM
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How is a bond referendum different from an operating levy?

A bond referendum asks voters to support using bond money for the purpose of building projects. An operating levy asks voters to support additional funds to finance learning by hiring teachers, pay utility costs, purchasing learning materials required to run our schools, etc. While both require …

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:42PM
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What is the timeline for the project?

The plan is to start the design phase when the funding is approved. Construction could start on select scope items as early as spring of 2018 and in the fall of 2018 for the major portions of work throughout the District. All construction will be scheduled to minimize disruption to on-going District…

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:41PM
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What will happen if the referendum fails?

This plan is the direct outcome of months of planning and development. As such, there is currently no “Plan B” ready to be implemented. If the referendum would fail again the District will need to go into planning again to determine the next course of action. What we can say is this:

    • The needs won’t…
Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:41PM
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I am hearing that there are already plans finished for the school improvements. Is that true?

No, there are no plans created at this time. There are parameters determined and very conceptual ideas being explored. These parameters are used to be able to establish a budget for the facility’s needs. This includes square footage for renovations or additions, number of rooms, quality of building …

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:41PM
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Why didn’t the District take care of the buildings in the first place so we wouldn’t need to spend this much to fix them?

The District’s yearly deferred maintenance budget is a fraction of the yearly maintenance needs. While the District staff does a fantastic job of keeping the buildings operational and looking great, the size and scope of long term maintenance projects regularly exceed that amount and over time this…

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:41PM
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When the referendum work has been completed will we still have old portable classrooms at many of our buildings?

No. One of the primary goals of the referendum work is to eliminate use of the existing portable classrooms. Many of these “temporary” portable classroom units were put in use over 30 years ago and are in very poor condition.

Posted by on Thursday August 31, 2017 at 03:41PM
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