Polling places declared for bond issue election

The Minot Public School Board on Tuesday declared 11 schools as polling places for the $125 million school bond issue election on Dec. 10.

Polling places will include Bel Air Elementary, Bell Elementary, Edison Elementary, Lewis and Clark Elementary, Longfellow Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Perkett Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary, Washington Elementary, Erik Ramstad Middle School and Jim Hill Middle School.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eligible voters can choose to vote at any of the schools, as there is one precinct for the election.

In addition, people may submit absentee ballots up to 45 days prior to the election. There will be early voting at the Ward County Courthouse for four days prior to the election.

Voters are being asked to approve the $125 million bond issue to pay for construction of a new elementary school on 10 acres of land already owned by the district at the corner of 37th Avenue and 13th Street Southeast; purchase of land in north Minot and construction of a second 9-12 high school; conversion of Central Campus into a fourth middle school for the school district; renovation of Magic City Campus so it can be turned into a 9-12 high school; and safety and security renovations, such as relocating school offices closer to building entrances; and school additions to accommodate growth. School officials have said the bond issue is needed to address continued growth in the district. Enrollment stands at just under 7,400, compared with 7,152 last spring. Student numbers have been increasing at a rate of between 3 and 3 1/2 percent each year.

If approved, the bond issue would raise the school district mill levy by 51 mills. The owner of a $200,000 home in Minot could expect to pay an additional $456 per year.

Voters are also being asked to increase the school district’s debt by an additional 5 percent beyond the current 5 percent debt limit set by the state constitution.