GFW voters turn down school building bond

DISTRICT 2365 — Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) voters rejected a $49,490,000 school building bond Tuesday by a vote of 1,187 to 980.

Fairfax was a resounding “no,” 525 to 167.

Winthrop voted “no” as well, but with a smaller margin, 377 to 326.

Gibbon voters approved the bond by a vote of 399 to 201, nearly a two-to-one margin.

Absentee voters favored the bond by a vote of 88 to 84.

A Facebook user reported the polls were busy in Fairfax.

“The first time in 42 years that I’ve stood in line to vote!. Busy place at 12:30 [p.m.],” reported the FB user.

“Gibbon, too,” said another FB user.

The school district proposed a single-question bond referendum on Nov. 5 to authorize $49,490,000 in bonding to finance a new pre-kindergarten through grade 12 school in the northeast corner of Gibbon and to decommission existing schools in all three cities.

Proposed projects scheduled for completion in the 2020-22 calendar years and cost estimates were school construction $33,832,500; fees, permits & testing $5,973,466; contingencies $2,042,654; building demolitions $1,358,537; site improvements $3,094,982; land purchase $538,029; technology furniture, fixtures & equipment $2,152,117; and bond issuance $507,715.

The school district supplied cost estimates to operate and staff a new building and projects a significant operating cost reduction compared to operating three schools. The school board and Minnesota Department of Education believe a single-site solution is in the best long-term interest of the school district.

Based on the department’s analysis of the school district’s required documentation and other pertinent information from the Minnesota Department of Education, the Commissioner of Education provided a positive review and comments, according to a Sept. 19 letter from Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker.

The results are unofficial and came from the Sibley County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office late Tuesday night.

For more information, visit: www.gfwschools.org, click on menu, bond referendum.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.


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