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USC question will be on August ballot

By Staff | Jun 11, 2012

United South Central School Board members are pushing ahead to put a $28.825 million bond referendum up for a vote.

In a special meeting on Tuesday, it took the board less than 10 minutes to unanimously pass a four-page resolution placing the question on the Aug. 14 primary election ballot.

The action was taken to meet a state election requirement of adopting a resolution by June 8.

Before the vote was taken, Superintendent Jerry Jensen explained negotiations are still continuing on a site for the facility.

He says talks have been going on for the past two months.

“We have looked at options. I think we’re close,” he adds.

While the purchase price of the land is unknown. Jensen says the district’s buildings and grounds committee recommends capping the bond referendum amount at $28.825 million.

“If the land cost is a little higher, we’ll need to take it out somewhere else, like athletic facilities,” he says.

Jensen wouldn’t discuss details of the land purchase.

The new school is designed to house up to 750 students in grades K-12.

In a preliminary design developed by SGN?Architects Inc. of Minneapolis, a 155,000-square-foot school for 750 students would require a minimum location of 47 acres.

District officials are hopeful the purchase of land will be completed soon.

At the end of this month an initial mailing is expected to go out to residents of the district.

Board member Christie Wetzel has put together brochures for past referendums.

She says they are strictly informational and non-political.

“It looks at the cost and what the tax impact will be. There will also be a blueprint of the new school. It will address a whole lot of things,” she says.

Jensen says public meetings also will be scheduled in all the communities in the district.

“We have a number of things we need to do and they need to be done quickly,” he says.

If an agreement is reached in the next few days to purchase land, Jensen says he would like the board to hold another special meeting before its regular meeting on June 19.