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White Bear Lake Area Schools to send $326 million referendum to voters

Updated: July 15, 2019 11:14 PM

The White Bear Lake Area School District voted to send a $326 million referendum to voters this November.

If it is approved, it would be the largest school referendum in Minnesota history to succeed, according to the Minnesota School Board Association.

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The school district said it will have thousands of new students over the next decade and expanding the North Campus High School and building a new elementary school in Hugo will accommodate that growth.

White Bear Lake Area School District Superintendent Dr. Wayne Kazmierczak told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the plan does include purchasing homes near the North Campus High School to make room for the expansion.

"We do not intend to use eminent domain and we will not take anyone's home from them," Kazmierczak said. "If people want to talk to us about selling property that sits next to school district property, we would like to talk with them."


More from KSTP: 

School districts begin referendum discussions


Kazmierczak said the district does not yet have any architectural renderings or photos of what the high school expansion and new elementary school will look like just yet.

"That is something we do not have the resources to pay for at this point," Kazmierczak said.  "But that usually comes later on in this type of process for the voters.

Kazmierczak said the district has not shared any maps of the homes it is interested in buying from people near the North Campus High School, but residents who live on Bald Eagle Avenue told KSTP the district has told them it would be between 21 and 30 homes.

Bill Robertson is one of the homeowners who shared that information with KSTP. He said he has no idea how the process will work, but he is certain he has no interest in selling.

"We have been here for 34 years and we have no intention of selling or moving," Robertson said.  "We moved here because we love it here and we feel like we have been kept in the dark about what the overall plan is going to be and what it will look like."

His neighbor, Dave Linden, told KSTP he has not been given any specific details about what a possible buyout would look like. He added he feels like the district has been less than forthcoming.

"This has been our home for 42 years and we really have no desire to sell or leave here," Linden said.  "And right now I feel like we are in limbo because you do not know what is going to happen."

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Jay Kolls

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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