$275 million ISD 622 bond goes to vote May 14

Construction at Richardson Elementary is already underway. District officials are now asking residents for money for further improvements throughout the District. (Solomon Gustavo/Review)

A meeting was held earlier this year to discuss the proposed bond referendum. (file photo)

The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale District 622 School Board agreed to ask residents for $275 million to build two new schools and renovate five, while closing three schools in the process.

Most of the district’s school buildings are more than 50 years old, crowded, “not designed for today’s learning environment,” and have entrances that could be much more secure, according to a district statement. 

The referendum will be put to a vote by district residents on May 14.

The bond referendum, if passed, would increase the average homeowner’s property taxes by $5 a month. The district said in its statement that the tax bump is low despite the $275 million construction price tag because old debt is coming off the books and new debt will be accrued to cover costs. 

The plan, approved by the school board in February, proposes closing Maplewood Middle School on Holloway Avenue, Oakdale Elementary on Glenbrook Avenue, and Webster Elementary on Seventh Avenue in North St. Paul. 

Skyview Middle School on Heron Avenue in Oakdale, and John Glenn Middle School on Country Road B, and Carver Elementary School on Upper Afton Road, both in Maplewood, would be renovated and expanded according to the plan. 

The new schools would be an elementary school on an existing Maplewood site, and a new Eagle Point Elementary, where it currently stands on 15th Street in Oakdale. 

The plan would also pay for updating schools with modern furniture and flexible classroom spaces. 

If the referendum passes, construction wouldn’t be complete for four or five years, said district Superintendent Christine Osorio. 

If the referendum fails to pass, Osorio said in a previous interview, the district “will rework the plan and go out again.”

—Solomon Gustavo

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here