From classroom trends to school board decisions, Class Act will keep you updated on all the school issues followed by the Star Tribune’s education reporters. Contributors include Steve Brandt, who covers Minneapolis; Kim McGuire, who covers the west metro; Erin Adler, who covers the south metro; Anthony Lonetree and Libor Jany, who cover St. Paul and the east metro, and Paul Levy and Shannon Prather, who cover the north metro.

Wayzata voters approve $109M for high school addition, new elementary

Posted by: Kim McGuire Updated: February 25, 2014 - 9:51 PM

Wayzata voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved  $109 million in bond funding to build a high school addition, an elementary and related infrastructure improvements.

The proposal passed by 3,818 votes to 1,107 votes against, according to unofficial results. Voters also approved renewing the district's technology levy.

Construction of 172,000 square-feet of high school addition is set to begin in late 2014. Once finished, the renovated high school will be able to house 3,900 students. At its current capacity, it is already the largest high school in Minnesota.

Initially, the bond proposal did not include a new elementary but a change in enrollment projections prompted district officials to add that to the proposal in early 2013.

The need for more elementary space was further amplified by legislators decision to fund all-day kindergarten. School leaders estimate they will need 14-15 new classrooms to accommodate the influx in kindergarten students.

The proposed elementary will be built somewhere north of Highway 55.

District officials expect both the new elementary and the high school expansion to be open to students in the fall of 2016.

The newly approved plan also calls for spending about $13 million in infrastructure improvements. Those include: improving entrance security at all buildings and upgrading energy saving options.

That work is expected to begin this summer.

The owner of a average $333,900 home can expect see a tax increase of about $10 a month as a result of the referendum. There will be no tax increase for the renewed technology levy.

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