Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan voters approve $493 million school bond referendum

Voters in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District on Tuesday approved a combined $493 million bond referendum, the largest successful public school funding request in Minnesota history.

District 196, the state’s third-largest school district with about 29,000 students, asked voters two questions in the special election. Both have been approved in all the 14 wards of the district, the district administration said.

The first question, for $374 million, included safety and security improvements at all district schools, a new elementary school, a new Rosemount Middle School and the repurposing of the current school. Additions will also be made to Scott Highlands Middle School and Dakota Ridge School, completing the Rosemount High School renovation and Transition Plus renovation, along with science lab and performance space improvements at the middle schools and replacing furniture where needed.

The question was approved by a margin of 7,576 “yes” votes (69%) to 3,446 “no” votes (31%).

The second question, for $119 million, included improvements and an activity center at each of the district’s four high schools: Apple Valley, Eagan, Eastview and Rosemount.

This question was approved by a margin of 7,233 “yes” votes (66%) to 3,781 “no” votes (34%).

The 11,022 voters who participated in the special election represent just over 10 percent of the district’s registered voters.

“We are pleased with the results and grateful for our community’s trust and continued investment in quality schools and building for our future,” Superintendent Mary M. Kreger said in a statement. “This referendum will provide safety and security improvements at all of our schools, additional space we need now and for future growth, and a more consistent experience for students and families in the district. Quality schools are at the heart of our thriving communities.”

The $493 million bond referendum topped the previous successful public school funding request, a $326 million referendum in White Bear Lake in 2019.

The District 196 referendum was the culmination of a facilities and equipment review that began in June 2021, taking into account factors such as enrollment trends, capacity development and training needs.

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