Monday, August 3, 2020

Superintendent hits the coffee shops to pitch upcoming referendum

Coffee and conversations will be flowing over the next few months as Owatonna Schools Superintendent Jeff Elstad makes his rounds throughout the community.

Beginning on Sept. 4, Elstad invited the community to join him for coffee and conversation. There are several others coming up between now and the Nov. 5 referendum.

Elstad is pitching the upcoming bond referendum to get a new high school in Owatonna. Informal gatherings have been scheduled around Owatonna. The public is welcomed to attend and go as they need. No formal presentations will be made during any of the stops.

“We hope to see you at one, or all, of the below coffee and conversation gatherings,” Elstad said.

The schedule includes:

  • Monday, Sept. 23: TBA
  • Friday, Sept. 27: 8-9 a.m. TBA
  • Monday, Sept. 30: 8-9 a.m. at Old Town Bagels, 211 N. Cedar Ave.
  • Friday, Oct. 4: 8-9 a.m. at Owatonna Schools Board Room
  • Wednesday, Oct. 9: 8-9 a.m. at Caribou Coffee, 2350 43rd St. NW
  • Friday, Oct. 11: 8-9 a.m. at Starbucks, 641 W. Bridge St.
  • Monday, Oct. 14: 2-3 p.m. at Sun Rise Grill, 205 N. Oak Ave.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16: 9-10 a.m. at Owatonna Schools Board Room
  • Monday, Oct. 21: 8-9 a.m. at Central Park Coffee, 113 N. Cedar Ave.
  • Friday, Oct. 25: 8-9 a.m. at Owatonna Schools Board Room
  • Monday, Oct. 28: 8-9 a.m. at Olivia’s Family Restaurant, 1160 Frontage Road W.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 30: 8-9 a.m. at Owatonna Schools Board Room

The district is making its second attempt at passing a bond referendum this year. In May, voters narrowly defeated a referendum with the widest disparity of those against it coming in the rural areas of the district.

This time around the district has changed things up a bit and trimmed back what it is seeking. The district is asking for $104 million to build a new school instead of the previous $116 million. The proposal also allows for the district to keep the old high school, but $8 million would be needed to make that happen.

More information can be found by visiting Owatonna School’s referendum page at



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