Moorhead Voters Asked to Pass Nearly $80 Million School Bond
The future of building more public schools in Moorhead hinges on what happens at the ballot box.
The district is asking for nearly 80 million dollars of public money.
Teachers say kindergartners don’t have the space to simply be five-year-olds at Probstfield Elementary.
“Our schools are overcapacity. We have more students than we have rooms for,” said Moorhead Superintendent Lynne Kovash.
Just this year, the elementary student population has grown by 340 students in Moorhead.
Teachers are forced to use the hallways as classroom space.
Kovash said, “We’ll stuff students in anywhere we can.”
A November 3 referendum could give Moorhead schools more space for students.
If passed, a $78.2 million bond would be used to build a new K through 4 elementary school, along with a fifth and sixth grade facility and auditorium that would attach to Horizon Middle School.
Probstfield would also revert from a kindergarten center back to an early education center.
Kovash said, “We are experiencing growth, and it’s just how do we build our facilities to make room for our students?”
Officials say they knew Moorhead schools would be growing but that growth came much quicker than they anticipated, making the need for new facilities that much more urgent.
“We had a demographer last year and she said that we would grow between two and three percent a year, and this year it was even higher.”
The referendum would add an extra burden for taxpayers.
Officials say taxes on a $150,000 house would go up $9 a month.
But Moorhead residents we talked to say it’s a worthwhile investment.
“Tax increases are always a concern to me, but if they’re to be well-spent and are needed, then they need to be passed,” said Moorhead resident Bill Woods.
Dani Wright is the co-chair of a citizen committee supporting the referendum.
She says she moved to Moorhead specifically for the schools, and wants to help ensure the future of education for her family, and the community.
“Moorhead’s a growing community, which is really exciting. It’s a thriving community, but we need more space. “
The referendum will pass with by simple majority of the vote.
Absentee ballots are already available for at the Moorhead School District main office.