Residents will vote on a single question on Tuesday, May 14th. This referendum funds up to $29.8 Million to build a new elementary school to serve grades 2-4, renovate and improve the existing Park Side Elementary to serve PK-1 and consolidate all Early Childhood programming into a single facility, remove the existing portable classroom at Park Side Elementary, and provide safety and security improvements to Park Side Elementary, the new Elementary School, Marshall Area Technical Education Center (MATEC), and Marshall High School.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE MAY 2019 REFERENDUM?
Our District’s needs are important and have not improved since being identified in 2015. The primary drivers of proposing this referendum include:
Replace an aging and inefficient facility at West Side Elementary
Enhance 21st Century learning needs for our students
Provide safety and security improvements for all students, staff, and faculty
Better accommodate Early Childhood programming needs in a centralized location
This plan addresses the most critical needs within our District, ultimately driven by the community’s feedback.
WHY IS THE DISTRICT HOLDING THIS REFERENDUM?
Our District continuously sought community input since the School Board’s Facilities Committee began in 2015. Since the referendum attempts in the spring of 2016 and the spring of 2017, the District continued to explore options and develop strategies to address our most critical needs.
In the summer of 2018, the District continued the process of gathering stakeholder input from various community members, leaders, and organizations through public listening sessions and forums. The District gathered community input through face-to-face interviews, an online parent and family survey, and open community input sessions which enabled individuals to share feedback on various facility-related topics. The District gathered internal input through work sessions with District administration and the School Board and an online survey.
HOW WAS THIS PLAN DEVELOPED?
Since the previous referendum attempts, the Facilities Committee worked to create and refine our District’s long-range plan to address our facility needs over time. The scope of work for the proposed plan best represents the most crucial needs as identified by this committee.
Based on community input, overall cost and tax impact, cost avoidance with replacing West Side Elementary, and the coordination of safety and security work with the recently-secured Safe and Secure Schools Grant, our District is confident this proposed plan will address both our facility-related and programming needs in a fiscally-prudent manner.
HOW IS THIS PLAN DIFFERENT FROM THE LAST ONE?
The new 2nd – 4th grade Elementary School will be located on East Southview Drive, and will share a 52-acre site with the existing Marshall Middle School.
WHERE WILL THE NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BE LOCATED?
Our District continues to experience stable enrollment growth, particularly over the past several years. Based on current and future enrollment projections, we expect this growth to continue. Currently, our enrollment is 2,468 students, which is over a 15.6% increase from 2010.
Park Side Elementary has a building capacity of 484 students with a current enrollment of 510 students, not including Early Childhood. The projected enrollment for our District’s K-2 students in five years is 531 students. Updated enrollment projections and demographic studies, provided by independent demographer Hazel Reinhart, are available to view on our Resources page.
HOW HAS STUDENT ENROLLMENT CHANGED FOR OUR DISTRICT?
Several studies show students perform better in school and in their careers when they have access to early childhood education. Currently, Early Childhood programming is located at both Park Side Elementary and the Middle School. This programming structure spreads our resources across two facilities and lacks grade cohesiveness, particularly for Early Childhood students in the Middle School. The proposed plan consolidates all Early Childhood students into a single facility, creates efficiency at Park Side Elementary, and provides additional space at the Middle School.
HOW DOES THIS PLAN HELP OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMMING?
For over 50 years, West Side Elementary served our District and students well. Unfortunately, over the past several years as the facility has aged and programming has evolved, West Side Elementary is no longer capable of meeting our District’s and students’ needs. The needs for this facility are numerous and costly for our District. These needs include:
Inefficient and costly Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems
Significant roof repairs
Aging and outdated food service support and inefficient infrastructure such as boilers, windows, cabinets, etc. original to the 64-year old facility
Inadequate space for dining, lockers, physical education, educational learning and support programs such as English Learner, Title I, MN Reading Corps, Reading Coaches, and Special Education
Site safety issues with vehicle drop-off and pick-up areas
The Facility Committee analyzed the required expenditures to continue the use of West Side Elementary for the next 50 years, and determined the best solution is to replace it with a new facility.
WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE MADE TO PARK SIDE ELEMENTARY AND DOES THAT IMPACT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL?
If the proposed plan passes, the existing West Side Elementary site will be decommissioned, to better serve our community and either demolished or prepared for future development. Our proposed plan includes this process as a part of the scope of work.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO WEST SIDE ELEMENTARY IF THIS PLAN PASSES?
Safety and security improvements will be made to Park Side Elementary, the new Elementary School, Marshall Area Technical Education Center (MATEC), and Marshall High School. These improvements include access controls, visitor management, secured entrances, a video door station, FOB door entry, and alarm systems.
WHAT SAFETY AND SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS WILL BE MADE?
In the spring of 2017, MN state legislature passed the Safe and Secure Schools Grant, which provided funds to be used for security and violence prevention improvements.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) received 1,187 grant applications, including Marshall Public Schools. Safety and security improvements were successfully secured for Marshall Middle School as a part of this grant, and therefore are not included in the proposed referendum.
WHY IS THE EXISTING MIDDLE SCHOOL NOT INCLUDED FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS?
What we know for certain is that our District’s needs will not go away, and the costs for making these proposed improvements will only continue to increase over time. If the referendum fails, Marshall Public Schools will have to find different ways to address our District’s physical facility and educational programming needs.
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROPOSED BOND REFERENDUM FAILS?
Every resident’s tax situation is different. However, for a person who owns a $150,000 residence, the estimated monthly tax would be $6 per month compared to this year’s taxes if the referendum passes.
WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT ON MY TAXES IF THIS REFERENDUM PASSES?
The new School Building Bond Agricultural Tax Credit (Ag2School), implemented by the state of MN in 2017, states that 40% of the costs of existing, proposed, and future construction bond issues on agricultural land will be paid for by the State.
There are several organizations that represent Minnesota school districts with the belief that the Ag2School bond credits are here to stay. These organizations include the Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA), which represents 225 districts across the state, and the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA) which represents all 331 districts.
The Ag2School tax credit is a permanent law currently existing into perpetuity. Repealing or reducing the credit would mean a vote for raising taxes for agricultural land owners, which is not politically appealing.
WHAT IS THE AG2SCHOOL TAX CREDIT AND DOES IT APPLY TO ME?
The City of Marshall owns the Red Baron Arena and Expo Center. Although the facility is in proximity to Marshall High School and used frequently by our athletic teams, the facility is owned and operated by the City of Marshall. It is not owned by the District.
WHO OWNS THE RED BARON ARENA?
According to a Schwan’s Company media release in November 2018, “a majority stake in Schwan’s Company was recently sold to CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) of South Korea. The Schwan family will retain 20 percent ownership in the business and retain 100 percent ownership in Schwan’s Home Service.”
During a conversation between Schwan’s executives and the City of Marshall, they shared that:
CJCJ’s plan is to further invest in Marshall.
CJCJ is committed to Marshall and investing in Marshall.
CJCJ is focused on increasing profitability, growth, and investment in Marshall.
CJCJ invested significantly in other companies and facilities in the upper Midwest, similar to their plans for Schwan’s in Marshall.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF SCHWAN’S IN MARSHALL?
This election will be held on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the following combined polling location:
Marshall Middle School | 401 S Saratoga Street | Marshall, MN 56258
Early/absentee voting is available starting Friday, March 29th through Monday, May 13th from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:
Marshall Public Schools District Office | 401 S Saratoga Street | Marshall, MN 56258
Additional information about early/absentee voting can be found on our Voting page.
WHEN IS THE ELECTION AND WHERE IS IT BEING HELD?
More information about our proposed plan can be found on our referendum website or by contacting Marshall Public Schools at 507-537-6924.
Additional resources including tax impact and voter information are also available. We welcome all feedback throughout this process. If you have a question about the referendum, please visit the Contact Us page or contact Marshall Public Schools at 507.537.6924