2021 Bond Referendum

  • On November 2, 2021 our community made a historic decision to restore and renew our district facilities! The passage of this $30 million bond referendum will allow us to enact a plan to restore and renew our school facilities for future generations while maintaining fiscal responsibility for our tax payers. In the interest of transparency, we will be updating this site regularly with timelines of the projects and progress photos to fulfill our promises to the community. 

  • Liberty Elementary Projects

    Project

    Scheduled Start Date

    Notes

    The Media Center will be improved to meet 21st Century Learning needs. Spaces would contain multi-purpose rooms, makerspaces, areas for small-medium-large groups, and include high-density storage where appropriate. Right-size quantity of book stacks per grade Level(s) and should account for 1:1 devices and repurpose computer labs where appropriate. 

     

     

    Improve efficiency, safety, traffic flow, and add parking stalls to the existing parking lot. 

     

     

    Include spaces for independent, flexible, and personalized learning. Including space for students in-between classes and when online learners are in-person. 

     

     

    Replace roof that is past its life cycle and in poor physical condition. 

     June-August 2022

    Bid awarded to Palmer West Construction in the amount of $2,236,700. NAC Mechanical and Electrical awarded bid of $346,750 for disconnect and reconnect of all mechanical and electrical equipment.  

    Add contemporary amenities, technology, and equipment in renovated areas.

     

     

    Replace the outdated and difficult to maintain building control system. 

     

     

    Independence Elementary STEM Projects

    Project

    Scheduled Start Date

    Notes

    The Media Center will be improved to meet 21st Century Learning needs. Spaces would contain multi-purpose rooms, makerspaces, areas for small-medium-large groups, and include high-density storage where appropriate. Right-size quantity of book stacks per grade Level(s) and should account for 1:1 devices and repurpose computer labs where appropriate. 

     

     

    The 1981 HVAC system at Independence Elementary STEM is in need of replacement. This replacement would include a better air quality handling system as well as air conditioning.

    May 2023-September 2025 

     

    Include spaces for independent, flexible, and personalized learning. Including space for students in-between classes and when online learners are in-person. 

     May 2023-September 2025

     

    Add contemporary amenities, technology, and equipment in renovated areas.

     May 2023-September 2025

     

    Replace the outdated and difficult to maintain building control system. 

    May 2023-September 2025

     

    Middle School Projects

    Project

    Scheduled Start Date

    Notes

    The Media Center will be improved to meet 21st Century Learning needs. Spaces would contain multi-purpose rooms, makerspaces, areas for small-medium-large groups, and include high-density storage where appropriate. Right-size quantity of book stacks per grade Level(s) and should account for 1:1 devices and repurpose computer labs where appropriate. 

     

     

    Improve Special Education Areas – these spaces would be reconfigured to operate more efficiently and designed to meet program needs. Learning environments (lights & HVAC) will be improved and equitable across all buildings. The spaces will be right-sized per MDE guidelines and contain their own dedicated storage areas. Materials and finishes in poor physical condition would be replaced.

     

     

    Include spaces for independent, flexible, and personalized learning. Including space for students in-between classes and when online learners are in-person. 

     

     

    Add contemporary amenities, technology, and equipment in renovated areas.

     

     

    Replace remaining roof sections that are past their life cycle and in poor physical condition.

    June-July 2022 

    Bid awarded to McDowall Company in the amount of $674,700. Signature Mechanical awarded bid of $25,000 for disconnect and reconnect of all mechanical and electrical equipment. 

    Improve CTE and Future Ready Environments – these areas will contain multi-purpose spaces with emphasis on collaboration and flexibility. The spaces will reflect the current market needs to better prepare students. Renovations would include separate ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ work areas, be more open, and handicap accessible for all.

     

     

     

    High School Projects

    Project

    Scheduled Start Date

    Notes

    The Media Center will be improved to meet 21st Century Learning needs. Spaces would contain multi-purpose rooms, makerspaces, areas for small-medium-large groups, and include high-density storage where appropriate. Right-size quantity of book stacks per grade Level(s) and should account for 1:1 devices and repurpose computer labs where appropriate. 

    November 2023-August 2024 

     

    Include spaces for independent, flexible, and personalized learning. Including space for students in-between classes and when online learners are in-person. 

    November 2023-August 2024  

     

    Add contemporary amenities, technology, and equipment in renovated areas.

    November 2023-August 2024  

     

    Replace the outdated and difficult to maintain building control system. 

     

     

    Improve CTE and Future Ready Environments – these areas will contain multi-purpose spaces with emphasis on collaboration and flexibility. The spaces will reflect the current market needs to better prepare students. Renovations would include separate ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ work areas, be more open, and handicap accessible for all.

     

     

    Add air conditioning and improve indoor air quality in activity spaces.

    May 2022-August 2022 

     

    Replace remaining roof sections that are past their life cycle and in poor physical condition.

    June-July 2022 

     Bid awarded to B.L. Dalsin Roofing in the amount of $1,031,745. McDowall Company awarded bid in the amount of $98,890 for disconnect and reconnect of all mechanical and electrical equipment. 

    Update and improve the High School weight room to become a Fitness Center.

     November 2023-August 2024 

     

     

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Bond Referendum Video

Fast Facts on the Bond Referendum

  • Learn more about the facts that drove the decision to ask our community for a bond referendum.

    Posted by:

    It is important to be good stewards of the community's schools. Given the age of the buildings - it was time to make further investments into Big Lake Schools. 

    - The last major investment in facilities was in 2016, and was primarily focused on improving safety and secruity including updating surveillance cameras and remodeling entrances; expanding and improving playgrounds; as well as improving fine arts and athletic facility improvements such as replacing auditorium equipment, pool equipment, adding permanent outdoor concession/restroom facilities, and installing ball field lighting. 

    - When constructed in 2002, Liberty Elementary had a roof with a 15 year life span installed. The roof is now 19 years old and in need of replacement. 

    - Portions of the Middle School roof, including the 1987 and 2001 addition, need replacing. 

    - The 1981 HVAC system at Independence Elementary STEM is in need of replacement. This replacement would include better air quality handling systems as well as air conditioning. 

    - High School activity spaces including the main gym and auxillariy gymnastics gym are not air conditioned and in need of dehumidfication during peak use including the spring, summer, and fall time. 

    - Special Education spaces at the Middle School were constructed in 1997 and in need of redesign. 

    - HVAC and building controls across the district are 24 years old. The computer systems they operate on are no longer able to support the agin control panels. 

    Comments (-1)

Frequently Asked Questions About the Bond Referendum

  • Why were these projects not on the 2016 bond referendum?

    Posted by:

    The last bond referendum passed in 2016 was primarily focused on improving safety and security including updating surveillance cameras and remodeling building entrances: expanding an improving playgrounds; as well as improving fine arts and athletic facility improvements such as replacing auditorium equipment, pool equipment, adding permanent outdoor concession/restroom facilities, and installing ball field lighting. 

    All school funding measures that are voted on by the public are community driven. At the time in 2016, input from our community was focused on our district providing security for our students, updating our fine arts facilities (like the auditorium) and improving our outdoor recreational spaces. 

    Comments (-1)
  • How is the referendum a $0 tax increase?

    Posted by:

    The debt from the voter approved bond referendum that financed the construction of Liberty Elementary School (along with additions to the High School and Middle School, and improvements to Independence Elementary School), will be paid off on February 1, 2022. In partnership with community groups, we identified important facility infrastructure projects that need to be completed in the upcoming years to restore and renew our current facilities. As part of the criteria for thse infrastructure projects, the need to keep our tax rate level was of the utmost importance. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Aren't the High School activity spaces already air conditioned?

    Posted by:

    High School activity spaces including the main gym and auxillary gymnastics gym are not air conditioned and in need of dehumidifcation during peak use including the spring, summer, and fall time. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What does it mean that "building controls" are no longer supported?

    Posted by:

    HVAC and building controls across the district are 24 years old. The computer systems they operate on are no longer able to support the agin control panels. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Where will the High School fitness center be located?

    Posted by:

    The current plan is for the High School fitness center to be relocated where the District Office currently is. The District Office would be relocated to Independence Elementary. 

    Comments (-1)
  • What roofs need to be replaced?

    Posted by:

    When constructed in 2002, Liberty Elementary had a roof with a 15 year life span installed. The roof is now 18 years old and in need of replacement. Additionally, portions of the Middle School roof including the 1987 and 2001 addition need replacing. 

    Comments (-1)
  • How old is the HVAC system at Independence Elementary?

    Posted by:

    The HVAC system at Independence Elementary was installed in 1981 and is in need of replacement. This replacement would include a better air quality handling system as well as air conditioning. 

    Comments (-1)
  • Will this referendum add square footage to our buildings?

    Posted by:

    This referendum will restore and renew existing facilities. It will not add square footage to any of our buildings. 

    Comments (-1)