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DL school bond vote is in two weeks

It’s one of the most significant bond referendums in Detroit Lakes school history, and in less than two weeks voters will head to the polls to determine whether it becomes reality.

So what exactly will District 22 residents be voting on?

Every single district-owned building will be touched by projects, thereby affecting every single one of the nearly 3,000 students and over 500 staff members.

Preschoolers, administration staff to Rossman

Preschool students who currently go to the Lincoln Education Center in Detroit Lakes would instead begin their educational careers in the current Rossman Elementary building.

The Lincoln Education building, which is owned outright by the district,   would then be shut down and likely sold.

The idea of moving over to Rossman has Early Childhood Family Education and School Readiness Coordinator Coreen Swenson excited about the little ones being able to spread their wings.

“Preschool continues to grow, and ultimately we hope that all children in the district can get a preschool experience,” said Swenson, “but with the space we have right now, we can’t provide that.”

Those 200 preschool students will use a section of the building, while the Boys and Girls Club may also lease another section, as its program is also experiencing space issues.

District officials who currently work in the administration center on Lake Avenue will also relocated to the Rossman building.

The administration center, which is owned outright by the district, will be shut down and likely sold off.

The new school

All children in grades kindergarten through third grade would be together in the newly built elementary school, to be located one and a half miles north on Richwood and Tower Roads.

The 1,000 seat facility would sit on 40 acres of land on the edge of town, which district officials say would not just allow for optimal traffic flow around the facility, but would also allow for future growth.


Roosevelt Elementary is well known to be over-crowded, and not just by a little.

Under this plan, student population would go back down for the current k-4 building, as only fourth and fifth grade students would be housed there.

The new bond would also include building a new gymnasium for the school, providing air conditioning for all classrooms, constructing acoustical separation between the noisy cafeteria and the classrooms right next to it, as well as improving the outdoor space for recess and other outdoor activities.

The Middle School

The middle school would once again become a true middle school, with only sixth through eighth grade students. (Fifth graders from Roosevelt have been located in the middle school due to space issues for the past couple of years.)

The building, which is visibly deteriorating on the outside, would get new exterior panels, a new outdoor space for recess, and the parking lot/drop off/pick up area will be revamped for safety.

The gymnasium floor would also be replaced, as would the auditorium overhead stage rigging equipment for safety, and the heating system will be converted into hydronic heat.

Lighting would also be improved in areas throughout the school, skylights inserted into existing infrastructure and an acoustical separation would be built between the auditorium and nearby classrooms.

Building security would also be improved as the office is moved adjacent to the front doors where a secured entrance would be built.

The High School

A regulation sized-gymnasium would be built, opening up sporting opportunities to the school that its non-regulation sized gym could not accommodate for and would address the current issue of inadequate physical education space.

Teacher work stations and offices on the second level would be converted into more classroom space, as a large room on the lower level will then be turned into a teacher’s lounge/teacher works space.

The commons area, which is visibly crowded with students throughout the day, would be expanded.

Classrooms throughout the building would be re-allocated for better utilization and space efficiencies.

District leaders say this will allow for some student population growth in the future.

Security at the High School would also be enhanced when the front office is re-built near the front doors as part of a new, secure entrance.

The cost

The cost for all these projects is $59 million.

If passed, taxpayers with a residential homestead assessed at $100,000 can expect to pay roughly $133 per year, with that going up proportionally for higher valued homes.

The bond is for 20 years, and any other debt the district still has on facilities (roughly $4 million) will be roped into the bond.