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Hawley voters approve $1,635,000 in school renovations, increase in per-pupil levy

Gary Kuck, left, of Hawley, Minn., waits in line to vote Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, at Hawley High School as the line wraps around and out the foyer. Michael Vosburg/FORUM NEWS SERVICE

HAWLEY, Minn. – Voters in the Hawley School District decided by a wide margin Tuesday that it’s time for the high school and elementary school to get a revamp.

The vote on an operating referendum that would renew and increase an expiring per-pupil levy by $4.58 was passed by 90 percent of the voters, or 729-81.

A $495.42 per-pupil levy expires this year, and voters approved a $500 per-pupil levy to replace it.

Voters also decided, in a separate referendum, to issue bonds not to exceed $11,635,000 to renovate the high school and elementary schools. It passed with 89 percent “yes” votes, or 721-89.

“Feels great,” said Hawley Public Schools Superintendent Phil Jensen. “It just shows the Hawley community and the support they have for education.”

Alicia Carley, chairwoman of the group “Vote Yes for Hawley,” said it’s time for the renovations to take place.

Carley has three children in the school district, and said without the referendums passing, classes would have had to get bigger. Her son’s homeroom is in the library, where he finds the extra traffic from other students distracting.

“I’m very relieved,” she said.

Jensen said that bids on the renovation projects will likely go out in February, and groundbreaking should be next spring.

Emily Welker | Forum News Service

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