Bond Amount Lowered for Proposed New Owatonna High School
At a special meeting on Monday, February 4, the Owatonna School Board moved toward lowering the amount being requested for a proposed new high school. The Owatonna Magnet student news organization reports the bond authorization could be set at $116 million, down from the initial maximum total of $138 million.
Community donations have driven the total necessary from a bond referendum down. Superintendent Jeff Elstad is quoted, "This will greatly reduce the burden put on our taxpayers...The goal is to amend the ballot language to set the board authorization of bonds at $116 million versus $118 million." The total had already been lowered once at a January meeting. A school district vote is set for May 14, 2019 on the proposal.
Owatonna business donations to a new school could reach 20-25 percent of the total according to the report. Mark Sebring of the board said donations from Wenger and Viracon, "could amount to as much as $500,000 from each of these companies." He added, "A new high school is critical for our students and beneficial to the long term health of our community."
The full project would include the cost of land, a new building and athletic complex, and demolition of the current high school. A series of tours are being offered for district residents to get a behind-the-scenes look at OHS.