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Residents say school needs to ‘sell’ plan

Lead Summary

The majority of residents who attended a special School Board meeting Tuesday night want New Hampton to take care of its facility issues in one fell swoop.
And that leaves School Board members with this million dollar question: Do those 74 residents speak for the community at large?
About two-thirds of the residents indicated that they want the board to ask voters to approve a $22 million bond referendum that Superintendent Jay Jurrens said would take care of the district’s No. 1 facility issue — the 1913 building that is part of the downtown elementary and middle school complex.
“If we do this in phases, we’re going to have what we have here,” Anna Havlik said. “We are going to have four different sites jammed into one building. ... We need to take care of the issue now.”
“If we want to attract young families, we need to do something,” Angie Laures said. “They’re not talking about test scores, but it’s about appearances. What does that school look like? What does that classroom look like? ... And we don’t have great answers for those people.”
Several members of the crowd, though, said referendum proponents must do a better job of perfecting their “sales pitch” if a bond issue is brought back to the voters.
In September 2014, voters soundly rejected — by about a 58 percent to 42 percent margin — a $29 million bond referendum to create a one-campus school district.

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