Voters to decide fate of NRHEG bond referendum
Voters in the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva will be heading to the polls next Tuesday to decide the fate of a $9.1 million bond referendum.
The referendum would fund building improvements and upgrade safety and security across the district.
Anyone who is resident within the NRHEG School District is registered to vote on April 9 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Residents from Steele County, the city of Geneva, the city of Bath and the Geneva and Freeborn Townships of Freeborn County will vote at the elementary school at 600 School St. in Ellendale, while residents from Waseca County, the city of Hartland and the Hartland Township of Freeborn County will vote at the high school at 306 Ash Ave. in New Richland.
The NRHEG School Board plans to use to funds from the referendum to improve security district-wide, address physical conditions needs, achieve indoor air quality standards, enhance spaces to support curriculum standards and learning needs, address space and safety concerns within career and technical shop area, achieve ADA compliance access and exit code requirements and provide school readiness to community members at no cost.
The redesign and construction of a new entrance and main office at the elementary school would allow staff to monitor and screen school visitors more efficiently and to guide visitors through the office before they would gain access to the main building. This project is estimated to cost $450,000.
The biggest chunk of the funds, $5.23 million, would go to supporting facility repairs like tuck-pointing, casework, water infiltration and moisture, air quality/HVAC and other maintenance.
Improvements to the electrical systems at the high school would reduce long-term construction needs and school-year interruptions.
Approximately $300,000 would be used to renew code upgrades and compliance. This would make all entrances, restrooms and elevation changes ADA Code Complaint.
Enhanced indoor air quality would improve student performance and updates to HVAC systems for code compliance would ensure more efficient buildings that prioritize occupants comfort and health.
Another $2.1 million would be used to provide classrooms that support curriculum requirements, increase instructional and storage spaces, foster collaborative opportunities between agriculture, family and consumer sciences and greenhouses and support career and college preparedness goals through agriculture, construction trades and culinary arts.
New science classrooms with additions and improvements of plumbing, natural gas and exhaust ventilation would open up more hands-on opportunities for science lessons.
Shop space expansion would create a safer space with more opportunities for students; students would have spaces necessary for agriculture-based learning and the space would facilitate education in the construction trades and students would gain access to modern commercial culinary arts equipment and appliances to reflect current culinary industry standards.
The proposed tax impact would increase property taxes from $198.57 to $231.95 on a $100,000 residential home, a hike of $33.38.
However, it would still be lower than many surrounding, similar sized districts.
By comparison, Maple River School District residents pay $242.03, Blooming Prairie residents pay $333.04 and United South Central residents pay $384.14.
The tax impact would affect owners of commercial and agriculture property differently. You can calculate your estimated tax impact at bit.ly/NRHEGTaxImpactCalculator.