On Aug. 9 of last year, Redwood Area Public School residents were asked to vote about whether to approve the district replacing Reede Gray Elementary School with an entirely new facility, at an estimated cost of about$47.5 million.
The motion failed with 988 no votes and 896 yes votes, and the school board went back to the proverbial drawing board.
In the five months since the last referendum, the school board has worked out some ways to reduce the overall cost of the facility despite expected inflation and interest increases.
Also, the school board has settled on something they hadn’t decided on last time: a specific site for the new school. The current proposal is to build the new elemenary school on the large playground area of Reede Gray Elementary School, an established site the district already owns that would need little ground preparation.
Other differences include eliminating the proposed daycare for children ages 0-2 since a new childcare facility is being built near the Redwood Falls water tower.
On April 11 of this year, school district residents will be presented with another opportunity to vote whether to approve $46,630,000 in funds to construct and equip a new PreK – 4th grade elementary school in Redwood Falls. The upcoming referendum will ask only one question focusing on the need for a new elementary school.
The question that approved by the school board to be put on the ballot:
Question: Shall the School board of Independent School District No. 2897 (Redwood Area Public Schools) be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $46,630,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of a new P-K-4 elementary school, the decommissioning of the existing Reede Gray Elementary School site, the acquisition of land adjacent to that site for use in the construction of the new elementary school; and the construction of related site and grading improvements, concrete walkways, curbs, parking lots and play surfaces?
Three community informational meetings have been set to let the public know the district’s hopes for a new elementary school for the Redwood area:
Sat., Feb. 25, 9-10 am at Reede Gray Elementary
Sat., March 11, 9-10 am at Reede Gray Elementary
Tues., March 28, 7-8 pm at Reede Gray Elementary
For more information, see the Redwood Area School District’s web page devoted to the proposal: https://www.redwoodareaschools.com/page/bond-2023
(NOTE: This article has been changed to correct the number of yes and no votes in the Aug. referendum. The original results mentioned did not take into account a discrepancy with the Delhi township reporting on election night to the Minnesota Secretary of State website.)