Maple Valley School Referendum Hangs in the Balance

The fate of the latest 14.3 million dollar referendum for Maple Valley Schools won’t be decided until Monday.

The district says it’s too close to call.

This will be the third attempt in the last two years for Maple Valley Schools to pass a school referendum.

It’s money that the district sorely needs.

“All buildings need updating so now would be a good time to get everyone into one location and be centrally located within our district … so that’s what our goal was,” says Brian Wolf, Superintendent of Maple Valley Schools.

The Maple Valley School District has not passed a school levy since 1959 and has students in three buildings within four different communities, but by passing this school levy this time they hope to solve that problem.

For many who voted against the school referendum, taxes are to blame.

However, not everyone sees the tax increase as a burden.

“Too many people feel like that it’s going to double their taxes, which it is not.  If they look at the school and what the students need and it’s going to cost more to update all the other schools,” says Claudia Von Bank of Buffalo, N.D.

Many agree that the district’s buildings are out of date.

“They’re deteriorating … they’re old … they either need upgrading or look at a different option,” says Betty Gibbons of Oriska, N.D.

That different option is to build one centralized school in Tower City.

“We would be adding on a new high school to this existing structure and we would be remodeling the current high school into the elementary part of the building.  Then we would add a commons area and a gymnasium on and some proper parking for patrons and for students,” says Wolf.

The district is hopeful that the third time is the charm.

North Dakota requires at least 60 percent to pass a school referendum.

The district’s last attempt to pass a referendum in April 2015 fell two votes short.