ROCORI School District will bring $72 million referendum to voters in August

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ROCORI High School is pictured Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Cold Spring.
ROCORI High School is pictured Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Cold Spring.

COLD SPRING — The ROCORI School District will ask voters for nearly $72 million in an August special election.

The referendum would bring technology and facility upgrades to Cold Spring Elementary, John Clark Elementary, Richmond Elementary and ROCORI Middle and High School. The vote will take place Aug. 9.

If passed, the funding would come from a property tax increase where homes valued at $200,000 could see an annual increase of nearly $400 for 20 years.

The ballot will have two questions. One question will be for funding technology resources across the district, newer secured entrances, new playground equipment and remodel the school's career/technical education and fine arts spaces for roughly $63.7 million.

The second question would fund five multipurpose courts for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, a running track and an indoor swimming pool for nearly $8.9 million.

Acting Superintendent Sam Court said a community task force made up of ROCORI district residents met last fall and winter to tour school facilities and identify needs across the district. ROCORI officials then conducted a community survey using Minneapolis-based Morris Leatherman to gather additional information from district residents.

Court said ROCORI administrators used the survey results and task force recommendations to shape the two ballot questions that will go to voters.

More: ROCORI superintendent search postponed

Board member Jason Wesenberg says an anonymous donor has offered $15 million if both ballot questions pass.

In 2017, ROCORI school district voters approved a referendum asking for $2.5 million over 10 years for technology efforts and improvements.

This story has been corrected to reflect that the community task force did not help determine the costs associated with the referendum, but the needs and improvements to facilities.

Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa is the education reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Reach him Follow him on Twitter @AbdullaGaafare1

This article originally appeared on St. Cloud Times: ROCORI schools will bring $72 million referendum to voters in August