The bond issue went through with an approval rate of 64%, just above the required approval rate of 60%. Out of 339 votes cast, there were 219 “yes” votes and 120 “no” votes.
The $ 3 million bond issue will allow the district to build a 13,000 square foot addition that will add a gymnasium, locker rooms, bleachers that can accommodate 250 people, a hall with concessions and bathrooms, offices and storage space. The elementary school currently uses a multipurpose room to host gym classes and lunch. The addition of a full-size gymnasium will reduce traffic in the multi-purpose hall and create new space for classes, extracurricular activities and community events.
Superintendent Steve Swiontek believes the vote passed because community members see the need for the new space and how it will benefit students and the rest of the community.
“I think there is a strong belief that Larimore is a progressive and growing community,” Swiontek said. “It will improve the community, so I think it was a vote not only for the students of Larimore, but also for the community itself.”
The addition will cost the district $ 4 million in total, but $ 1 million will come from the federal government’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Assistance (ESSER) funds and reserve funds. ESSER funds, which will cover almost 25% of the project, expire after the 2023-2024 school year.
The annual tax impact for residents of Larimore is estimated at $ 52.06 per $ 100,000 of assessed property value for residential properties and $ 57.84 per $ 100,000 of assessed property value for commercial properties.
The Larimore School Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, November 29 to conduct an official tabulation of the results.
Once the results are certified, the project architect, ICON Architectural Group in Grand Forks, will complete the plans for the addition and publish the specifications for the tender. Swiontek says he hopes to see bids for the project in January so that construction can begin as soon as the frost melts in the spring.
“We are very excited as a community and as a school system. We look forward to the next steps as we move up the line, ”said Swiontek.