The Edina school board on Monday authorized a May 5 referendum on a $125 bond proposal which calls for making upgrades at every school, building a new high school addition and a multi-purpose activities center.

The plan calls for reconfiguring classroom space at every building to create "flexible learning spaces", places where students can break off into small or large groups, and allow teachers to switch between working with students one-on-one or as a whole group.

"We know a one-sized classroom doesn't fit all learning styles," said Superintendent Ric Dressen.

About $31 million of the bond proposal would go toward building a new addition at the high school - a move that's being driven by the district's decision to move ninth grade students from the middle schools.

If approved by voters, a multi-purpose activities center would also be built at the high school. School leaders have said the building would be used for physical education classes, extra-curricular activities like robotics, and community events.

Where the district ultimately puts the activities center appears to be a growing source of contention among some residents who live off Creek Valley Road and worry about increased traffic and noise.

While school officials are discussing a number of siting options for both the addition and activities center, they say they can't make final decisions until after voters approve the bond request and the design phase begins.

School board members urged residents to be patient and stay engaged as the bond request moves forward.

"This is not the end of the discussion," said Cathy Cella about the board's decision to authorize the referendum.

The May 5 vote will mark the first time in more than a decade the Edina school district has asked voters for a tax increase to pay for facility upgrades. If approved, the owner of a $400,000 home would see an a tax increase of $27 a month, or about $324 annually.