Stillwater schools to receive nearly $175 million in funding after vote to increase property taxes

A majority of Stillwater voters have decided to take on a property tax increase to invest nearly $175 million into the area’s public schools.

School officials say the $175 million bond will be paid off over the next 20 years. For a resident with a median-valued home of $500,000, taxes will increase by about $201 per year, or just under $17 a month.

RELATED: Stillwater schools asking voters for $175 million for new facilities, security upgrades

The measure, titled School District Question 1 on the ballot, will issue an amount not exceeding $174,845,000 for improvements that include, but are not limited to:

  • Replacing Lake Elmo Elementary School with a new building
  • Replacing Anderson Elementary School with a new building
  • Construction of additional classroom space and a new gymnasium at Oak-Land Middle School
  • Security improvements throughout the district, including a secured front entrance addition and remodel at Stillwater Area Highschool

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website, 56.74% of voters said yes with the remaining 43.26% voting no.

Voters also elected Chris Lauer to the school board with 61.35% of the vote after Eva Lee resigned in January. Lauer will serve the remaining three years on the school board after he is sworn in on Nov. 28.

The school district says it projects around 1,000 students to join its schools over the next 10 years. Given that projection and the state of current facilities, the district says it plans to use newer, larger buildings to provide more learning spaces for students and make security upgrades.

That plan was put together based on feedback from two district-wide surveys, community meetings and the work of a community Facilities Planning Team, Stillwater Area Public Schools said.