MELROSE -- There is a bond referendum this summer in the Melrose school district. The district is asking for $29.94 million to help pay for upgrades to the school that was originally built in 1969.

Superintendent Greg Winter says one of the focus areas would be an expansion of the career and technical education spaces.

Our current auto shop, for a lack of a better term, the classroom is across the parking lot in a garage.  It is only a one-stall one lift.  These are classes and opportunities that have been growing over the years.  That would be added on to our current building, it would be added to the south side of the wood and metal shop and another classroom added on to that.

Winter says other classes that they offer include small engine, metal fabrication, electrical, and woodshop classes. The improvements include making the classrooms ADA accessible. Winter says there is a growing demand for these classes.

Part of the money would also be used to replace the current swimming pool which is just six lanes with one diving board and does not meet the current depth regulation standards. The new pool would be eight lanes with two diving boards.

Winter says the current pool would be turned into a multipurpose community space.

There would be a lobby area put on so you could access the pool.  The old pool area would become a multi-purpose room.  We could use it a lot for community education things like pickleball that are really popular these days for a lot of our community members that are retired could come in and use those facilities.

If the referendum passes, the city of Melrose has committed $1 million from the old Melrose Hospital Community Fund, which would bring the tax liability down to $28.94 million.

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The Melrose school district residents rejected a $36 million referendum back in 2016. Winter says a significant change this time around is the Ag Tax Credit approved by the Minnesota State Legislature in which the state pays 70 percent of the increased taxes on ag land on any school district referendum that passes.

Winter says early voting starts on August 2nd in the Melrose City Center for any school district resident who lives in Stearns County.  The primary election day is August 9th.

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