The South St. Paul district passed a $26.7 million building bond Tuesday, with 61 percent of voters in favor of the request.

The funds will be used to pay for facilities improvements in four areas, including maintenance, relieving elementary school overcrowding, addressing security concerns and reducing rental costs.

To address elementary school issues, the district will add on to its secondary building, making room for sixth graders there. Two elementary schools will also see additions, allowing for additional early childhood programming at the elementary schools, rather than at the current leased site.

The bond also includes money to purchase the district office, which is leased.

The increase in property taxes will amount to about $81 a year for owners of South St. Paul's median-priced home.

The district will soon begin finalizing plans for each school, with early childhood space ready as soon as the end of the 2013-14 school year. Several other improvements will be completed during the following year.

Though the district passed operating and technology levies in 2009, it hasn't put a building bond on the ballot in 12 years.

Erin Adler