School referendum

"Vote Yes" stickers are seen on a table at a recent swim meet at John Marshall High School. (Ken Klotzbach/

In six weeks, Rochester Public Schools will ask voters to approve two school bond questions.

Question one asks for $171.4 million in funding to construct an elementary school, a middle school, rebuild two existing schools and update security and safety around the district. The second question asks for $9.5 million to build a pool at Century High School on district-owned land

The school district has experienced a 12 percent enrollment growth since 2011. A housing and growth study estimates enrollment will grow by about 1,200 students in the next five years.

Rochester schools are running out of room. School officials are asking voters to say “yes” to a two-question bond referendum that would raise …

Since March, nonprofit group Strong Schools for Rochester has been handing out information about the referendum and what the funding would go toward. Based on property tax valuations from last year, the district and the group estimated the property tax impact for a home valued at $200,000 would be about $96 per year.

During a match two years ago, a Century High School swimmer took position on the starting block only to have the block mount collapse underneath him.

On Tuesday, John Carlson, executive director of finance at Rochester Public Schools presented the Rochester School Board with updated numbers that show the district's property tax valuation increased by $1.2 billion. That means the estimated property tax increase from the bond for a home valued at $200,000 would be half that earlier estimate.

"It's wonderful news," said Linda Freeman, co-chairwoman of the Strong Schools for Rochester.

Freeman said the group has been upfront about the estimated cost. the adjusted tax estimate will make the group's case easier, she said.

"Generally, when things get adjusted, they don't get adjusted down by half," she said.

District officials will make their case publicly at a League of Women Voters forum Monday at the Rochester Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Rochester Schools Superintendent Michael Muñoz will present the district's case for the bond.

Early voting opened Friday at the Edison Building, 615 Seventh St. SW, Room 121. Absentee ballots will be available Monday through Friday and on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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General Assignment Reporter

John joined the Post Bulletin in May 2018. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2004 with degrees in Journalism and Japanese. Away from the office, John plays banjo, brews beer, bikes and is looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter “b.”