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School bond referendum vote approaching June 9

The Vote Yes committee held a press conference on Friday, May 29, to answer questions about the June 9 bond referendum, and to remind people to get out and vote. A small gathering attended the noon meeting held just north of Cheney Middle School.

Toni Ballweber, spokesperson for the Vote Yes committee, gave the opening speech. Citing overcrowded schools and the need for more room for our kids, Ballweber asked the community to consider a yes vote next Tuesday.

"We are victims of our own success," Vote Yes committee member Bernie Dardis said, referring to the continued rapid growth and development of West Fargo, known as the City on the Grow. He reminded the group that strategic planning as far back as the 1980s and 1990s included plans to build a second high school. "At one time, 2020 was the year when a new high school was being planned. That has been stepped up."

Voters will go to the polls on June 9, to vote on a $65 million bond referendum to fund several building projects proposed by the West Fargo School District. The proposal includes plans to build a second high school on the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center campus to house 1,200 students; converting the Ninth Grade Center into a Middle School with a 1,200 student capacity; building a new elementary school south of 52nd Avenue South; and to make renovations at the existing high school. As a final stage, floor plans have been prepared to expand Horace Elementary School from a 200 capacity building to provide space for 500 students. District officials say they will keep close track of enrollment projections to determine whether the Horace expansion is necessary, and sell bonds only as needed for that portion of the project.

Polling places by precinct are located at: Precinct One: Harwood Community Center, 210 1st Ave. S., Harwood, N.D.; Precinct Two: the Veterans Memorial Arena at 1201 7th Ave. E., West Fargo; Precinct Three: Westside Elementary School, 945 7th Ave. W., West Fargo; Precinct Four: West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E., West Fargo; Precinct Five: West Acres Shopping Center, 3902 13th Ave. S., Fargo; Precinct Six: Shiloh Evangelical Free Church, 2200 Shiloh St.; and Precinct Seven: Horace Senior Center, at 214 Thue Court, Horace, N.D.

The polls will open at 7 a.m. and remain open until 7 p.m. Absentee ballots are available at the West Fargo School District offices at 207 Main Ave. W. in the Leidal Education Center, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

One last community open forum will be held tonight (June 4), at Cheney Middle School, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

"It's so much more than a building project. It's more than bricks and mortar. It's about educating our children," Dardis said.