Defining moment

Connie Feist, Minot

Seldom does an issue arise within a community that can be described as a defining moment for the future of its citizens. Such an issue will be voted on in Minot on Dec. 10 with the school bond election.

With unprecedented growth of over 1,000 new students in the past five years (2008-current) the Minot Public Schools have responded by utilizing 24 portable classrooms as a temporary solution while thoughtfully and deliberately planning the best course of action to take for the future of education in our community.

Enrollment projections are for an additional 1,000 students within the next five years (by 2018) and there simply is no space for these students in our current schools. In order to provide for the well identified growth and needs, the school bond issue will include a new elementary school, conversion of Central Campus to a third middle school, conversion of Magic City Campus to a traditional 4 year high school, and the construction of a second high school.

What resonates most with me when considering the implications if the bond issue should fail is this: “The message we send to all the families, professionals, corporations, military members, oil industry employees, college students and others that continue relocating into our area of the State is that Minot schools are over capacity now and the citizens have decided against making provisions for any additional students in other words, don’t come to Minot.”

Many other cities in North Dakota are facing similar growth expectations and have placed school bond elections on the ballot with resonating positive outcomes for their communities. The most recent school districts to pass school bond referendums are: Mandan, Bismarck, West Fargo, Grafton and Wahpeton.

I view my “yes” vote on Dec. 10 as a vote for the betterment of our Magic City and a defining moment in its future.