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September 25 WFPS Bond Referendum Package

On Tuesday, September 25, West Fargo Public Schools will be hosting a special election to allow residents to vote on a $106.9 million bond referendum. The seven projects included in the bond package - a high school, a middle school, synthetic turf, security upgrades, elementary specialty classrooms, addition/renovation at Harwood Elementary School, and an addition/renovation at Horace Elementary School - address the challenges that the district and community continue to face related to student and staff safety, increasing enrollment, and equal opportunity measures. Over the next few weeks, WFPS will highlight each project in an article or advertisement in the West Fargo Pioneer.

WHY MORE CLASSROOMS?

Due to continued growth, specialty classrooms in several schools have been reassigned to general education classrooms, leaving music, art, gifted and talented, and health classes without designated learning spaces. In order to provide an equitable learning environment for elementary students across the district, these dedicated spaces must be added to the elementary schools where they are currently lacking. These buildings have been utilizing alternative methods (teachers on a cart, in-class instruction, shared spaces, etc.) for providing these services, but each short-term solution is negatively impacting the length and quality of students education.

WHY HARWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?

The project will build Harwood Elementary School an elementary size gymnasium, which will allow for the school to have separate recreation and lunch spaces equal to the district standard offered at all other elementary schools. Much like other elementary schools, Harwood Elementary School will receive additional classroom space and offices for specialty classes like gifted and talented, music, and art. Additionally, the office and administrative areas will be redesigned to create adequate space and a secured building entrance.

WHY HORACE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL?

With continued growth occurring on the south side of the district and additional developments being added, projections show the need for additional classroom space in the Horace attendance area. Horace Elementary School will receive an addition of 10 classrooms and a small renovation of current spaces to allow for it to become a four-section school. An elementary school of this size will be able to accommodate an enrollment of up to 550 students.

COST DETAILS

The total projected cost of the classroom additions is $1.5 million, or around 1% of the total bond package cost. Of the estimated annual net tax impact of +$15.80 for a $100,000 home value, $0.22 will be associated with the elementary classrooms project. The total projected cost of the Harwood project is $3.0 million, or around 3% of the total bond package cost. Of the estimated annual net tax impact of +$15.80 for a $100,000 home value, $0.44 will be associated with the Harwood Elementary School project. The total projected cost of the project is $6.8 million, or around 6% of the total bond package cost. Of the estimated annual net tax impact of +$15.80 for a $100,000 home value, $1.01 will be associated with the Horace Elementary School project.

For more information related to the West Fargo Public Schools bond referendum, please visit www.west-fargo.k12.nd.us/2018bond, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or email info@west-fargo.k12.nd.us. Please get out and vote on September 25; six polling locations will be available throughout the district from 7:00AM - 8:00PM.

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.

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