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Hawley Residents to Vote on Bond for School Renovations - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Hawley Residents to Vote on Bond for School Renovations

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Last week, we told you about the business expansion Hawley, Minnesota. Now, we are bringing you new developments on Hawley's public school system and what growing student enrollment means for tax payers.

The Hawley Public School district is hoping to make room for more students. As Valley News Team's Regina Reese explains, school officials are asking the community to pass a more than $11 million dollar referendum.

"Well we're really running out of space. Hawley is really growing," says Superintendent Phil Jensen. "We opened our doors this year with 947 students. That's the highest enrollment in Hawley history."

Right now the schools are in need of more classrooms, locker rooms, a band room in the elementary school and a larger agriculture shop.  With the special election approaching, people in Hawley are asked to vote on a building bond, setting aside $11,635,000 for school renovations.

But because of this year's high student enrollment, provisions at Hawley elementary have already begun. They've been pretty creative with having to utilize what space they do have. One storage room has been turned into a classroom.

"What this means for the students is that we'll be able to maintain the small class sizes that we have. Twenty or less I think is ideal in an elementary setting," explains elementary principal Chris Ellingson. "We're getting to that point. We're getting maxed out for space to be able to keep that a priority."

From a taxpayer point of view, if this referendum passes, taxes simply won't change.

"What it means is that you'll continue to pay the same taxes you are right now just for 20 more years. Instead of seeing that money run out in 2017," said Jensen.

School officials say the future of Hawley looks bright and they are doing everything they can to prepare their facilities and students for success.

The referendum will be decided at the special election on November 5. Voting is from 4:00p.m.-8:00 p.m. in the Hawley High School old commons. For more information on the upcoming special election, click on the link to the right of this story.

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