Roseville area voters approve $144 million building bond for schools


Incumbents, one newcomer, elected to Roseville school board

Voters in the Roseville Area School District resoundingly approved a $144 million building bond Nov. 7.
The last time District 623 asked for a building bond was in 1992, and at the time, it was the biggest approved bond in state history.

This time around, the bond was approved with 74 percent of the vote -- just more than 6,800 "yes" votes -- in a year when the only other item on the ballot for many voters was the district's noncompetitive school board race.
Similar bonds in neighboring communities passed this fall, as well. 

Mounds View district voters gave the go-ahead for a $165 million building bond and earlier this year in a special election, residents in the St. Anthony-New Brighton school district passed a $12 million bond for elementary school improvements.

In Roseville, the bond will be used to update and expand the district's 10 school buildings, as well as the Fairview Community Center, nearly all of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s.

The bond money will pay for things like expanded classroom and science lab facilities, as well as gym improvements and creating more space for storage.

This past summer the District 623 School Board approved $12 million of Long-Term Facilities Maintenance money, which will be funded by non-voter approved property tax increases and state aid. 

The LTFM cash will be used to update heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in district school buildings as well as for maintaining roofs, walls, floors, windows and sidewalks.

Between the LTFM and the just-approved building bond, the owner of $250,000 home, the median value in District 623, will see a $468 annual property tax increase.

Though the bond will be paid over 20 years, Todd Lieser, the district's supervisor of building grounds, said the school building improvements will happen in the next three to four years.

School board results

There were three seats up on the District 623 School Board and three candidates ran. 

Incumbent Kitty Gogins will begin her fourth term on the board next year. Her fellow incumbent, Frank Shaw, who is serving out his second, nonconsecutive term on the board, won his third.

Newcomer Curtis Johnson, a 47-year-old software developer from Little Canada, was elected to his first term on the school board, and though the election results weren't much of a surprise, he said he was fine with it.
"I don't like drama so it works for me," he said.

Speaking the day after the election, Johnson said he plans to do a lot of reading and learning before he begins his term, attending school board meetings as a bystander, while getting up to speed on the ins and outs of how the district budget works.

He said he's thrilled the building bond passed, as he and others put a lot of work into getting the word out about it.

While out door-knocking this fall, Johnson said he met a lot of people with many different viewpoints, though one thing unites them all.

"The cool thing is everybody wants what's best for the schools," he said.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at or 651-748-7813. 

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