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Both questions pass with about 61, 56 percent ‘yes’ votes, respectively

Lakeville Area School District students will have more learning opportunities in buildings with more safety and security measures, improved technology and new athletic spaces after voters approved a 10-year, $4.27 million annual operating levy and a $42.9 million bond on Tuesday.

Voters gave a 61.1 to 38.8 percent margin for the operating levy with 5,754 “yes” votes to 3,657 “no” votes, while the bond referendum had 5,304 “yes” votes to 4,101 “no” votes for a 56.4 to 43.6 percent margin, according to unofficial results.

“We are tremendously grateful to our community for their incredible support,” said Superintendent Michael Baumann in a statement. “This funding will help us ensure the success and safety of every student, and shows our residents value public education across this community.”

Funding will provide new teachers, upgrade safety and security and build new athletic spaces, among other items.

The operating levy will add 25 teachers at the district’s three middle schools to expand course offerings, including Spanish and French and those related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The operating levy will also provide four elementary school counselors, a school resource officer and a districtwide school psychologist.

Safety and security changes will include increased staffing, door sensors, automatic lockdown technology, creating classroom safe zones and installing detectors to indicate the presence of vaping, especially in bathrooms.

The funds from the referendum will allow the district to bolster its cybersecurity, help it recover from a natural disaster and create redundancy in its network to prevent outages.

Athletic spaces include a gym, pool and outdoor turf that will provide for physical education, sports practices and games, and community use for a variety of activities.

The bond referendum was contingent on the operating levy passing.

For the district’s average valued home of $370,000, the operating levy and bond referendum are estimated to raise property taxes by $228. Both measures would increase property taxes on a $250,000 and a $600,000 residential property by $135 and $324, respectively.

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