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September 25 WFPS Bond Referendum Package

On Tuesday, September 25, West Fargo Public Schools will be hosting a special election to allow residents to vote on a $106.9 million bond referendum. The seven projects included in the bond package a high school, a middle school, synthetic turf, security upgrades, elementary specialty classrooms, addition/renovation at Harwood Elementary School, and an addition/renovation at Horace Elementary School - address the challenges that the district and community continue to face related to student and staff safety, increasing enrollment, and equal opportunity measures. This is the last in a series of project highlights that have been included in the West Fargo Pioneer over the past few weeks.

WHY MORE SCHOOLS?

A new high school and middle school will be built on the south side of the district, within the city limits of Horace. The district already owns the land for these facilities and it is located at Sheyenne St and 76th Ave S. The new secondary buildings will be fed by the elementary attendance areas of Legacy, Deer Creek, and Horace Elementary Schools.

COST DETAILS

The total projected cost of the high school and middle school is $88.5 million, or around 83% of the total bond package cost. Of the estimated annual net tax impact of +$15.80 for a $100,000 home value, $13.08 would be associated with the high school and middle school project.

SECONDARY SPACE NEEDS

In regard to enrollment, our secondary buildings are already the largest in the state. For the fall of 2017, West Fargo High School was the largest high school in North Dakota with 1,458 students. Sheyenne High School was the second largest with 1,285. Liberty Middle School was the largest middle school in North Dakota with 1,193 students. Cheney Middle School was the second largest with 1,148 students. From 2018 2021, we are expected to meet or exceed capacity at each middle school and high school. The project would allow for an overall balance of enrollment district-wide at our secondary level and create middle schools and high schools that model the communitys values in constructing middle schools for no more than approximately 1,200 students and high schools for no more than approximately 1,550 students.

BUILDING DETAILS

The middle school will be built to initially accommodate 800 students and the high school will be built to accommodate 1,000 students. The campus site is large enough that both buildings could be expanded upon, if needed in the future, to 1,200 students at the middle school and 1,550 students at the high school.

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.