Community News

Posted on: November 9, 2017

Voters Approve School Referendum in District 11

Voters in the Anoka-Hennepin School District have overwhelmingly approved two ballot questions that will increase space and decrease class sizes.

Question One, which provides operating revenue of $95 million over the next 10 years, passed with 16,681 yes votes or about 66%.  The no votes numbered 8,586.

Question Two, which will provide $249 million over the next 25 years for facility construction and renovations, passed by nearly the same margin.  A total of 16,579 people said yes while 8,675 said no.

"Thanks to our community who came out in droves, supported us," says David Law, Anoka-Hennepin Schools Superintendent.

One day after a historic election for District 11, Superintendent David Law was still grinning ear to ear.

"I was happy to see that our community appreciated the need because it's real, our schools are crowded at the elementary level and the need for safety and getting rid of these portables, that's a real need," Law says.

In addition to removing the remaining 62 portable classrooms in Anoka-Hennepin, passage of the bond and levy referendum will allow District 11 to staff and construct two new elementary schools in growing areas: one in Ramsey and the other in Blaine.  Space and security Improvements will also be made at all existing schools including Coon Rapids High School where two new entrances will make for a safer environment for both students and staff.

"The portables piece and safety it's on everyone's mind.  Before we even had this task force we would have people coming to the board and talking about safety in our schools and so the safety message about secure entrances and portables was there," says Law.

Superintendent Law says between the work of his communications staff and the Fit For the Future task force, which spent a year studying the needs in District 11, voters got the message and information they needed to make an informed decision at the polls.

"I just can't say thank you enough, our team has been wonderful, our community has been supportive, people have taken the time to be informed and just thank you," Law concludes.

School officials say the majority of the construction projects will be complete within four years.  District 11 expects to break ground on the two new elementary schools in the spring and have them ready for students by the fall of 2019.  That's also when all the portables will be retired and students will be moved to permanent space.  

As far as class sizes, the superintendent says there won't be class size reductions across the board but the district will be able to address the most overcrowded classes which will mean a better educational experience for those students.

For more information on the levy and bond referendum, click here.

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