The Sauk Rapids-Rice School Board reviewed a long-term plan Monday, July 29, for facilities improvements, known as One Storm One Future, that includes a Nov. 5 referendum to replace Pleasantview Elementary as well as additional long-term investments that will preserve the district’s other buildings. The school board will take final action on August 5, which includes submission of the plan to the Minnesota Department of Education for approval.

“We heard from our communities that Pleasantview was the highest priority,” said Supt. Aaron Sinclair. “The listening sessions and survey we conducted this spring brought clarity to what the community sees as priorities and we are listening. A public decision on Pleasantview will give the district direction on future facility needs and how to best fund them.”

The district held over two-dozen listening sessions during spring 2019, mailed 12,000 surveys directly to residents, and invited community input through an online survey. The top five facility issues identified from these sessions and the survey were:

1. Address the issues at Pleasantview Elementary.

2. Address the need for more elementary space.

3. Address the need for more early childhood space.

4. Address traffic flow/pick-up and drop-off safety.

5. Preserve our other current buildings and land spaces.

“Since addressing the issues at Pleasantview wouldn’t be easily funded through other means, the school board is considering a Nov. 5 referendum,” Sinclair said. “The decision made by voters on a referendum will impact the district’s next steps in improving items in our other schools. These remaining improvements are likely to be done using existing resources, but the Pleasantview decision needs to be made first. We look forward to hearing from residents and actively informing community members about this plan.”

The Board commented on the strong community consensus around addressing the needs at Pleasantview. They noted that a plan was able to be developed with a modest tax impact to replace the school and ensure the district would have adequate elementary classroom space. The tax impact on the district’s median value home of $182,000 would be $6.58 a month.

For more information, visit OneStormOneFuture.com.

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