Sartell-St. Stephen School District School Board Moves Forward with Bond to Support Facilities Plan

(Sartell – January 26, 2016)  The Sartell-St. Stephen School District Board of Education voted to move forward with facility plan that includes construction of a new high school, safe and secure entries at all buildings and additional learning space across the district.  The plan would be supported by a $105.8 million bond referendum.

The Board has focused on the facility and educational needs of the district as the population has continued to increase and buildings are filled to capacity.  A Community Schools Planning Committee made up of community members, district staff, parents and students met over the course of nine months and 8 separate meetings to study and create a long-term facility recommendation.  The group presented their recommendation to the Board in November of 2015.  The Board utilized this recommendation, community survey information, financial impact figures and other data to arrive at the proposed facilities plan.

“Our buildings are full,” shared Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert.  “Building a new high school creates opportunities across the entire district.  There will be more space for learning at all of our buildings. We will be better equipped to employ teaching and learning strategies that individualize education and provide small and large group spaces that are flexible to support the next generation of learners.”

The school board considered and analyzed several parcels of land for the new high school.  A decision was made to build on land already owned at the Oak Ridge Elementary site.  An additional preliminary agreement to buy 20 additional acres of land adjacent to the Oak Ridge Elementary site has also been made.

“I was a student in the district when Sartell High School opened with under 600 students,” commented Krista Durrwachter, School Board Chair.  “The building now has over 1,100 students.  Our district has built additions on to the high school, but we are at a crossroads now.  By adding a facility, we are able to best solve the capacity issues across the district.”

In addition to building a high school, the district will also look to upgrade other schools across the district.  The current high school would be renovated to become a grade 6 through 8 middle school.  The current middle school would become a 3 through 5 intermediate school and the two elementary schools would serve Pre through 2.  The district will also enhance safety across the district and improve indoor air quality at the elementary schools.

A breakdown of the bond amount is as follows:


New High School on 100 acres, which includes:

$90 million

                              $78 million - Building

                              $7 million – Site Development

                              $5 million – Fees and Land

Remodeled 1993 building for grades 6-8

$10.2 million

Upgrades to the 1969/1985 (including secure entrance and light remodeling)

$2.3 million

Pine Meadow Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary
(secure entrances and dehumidification)

$1.8 million

Pre-Kindergarten- Grade 8 (21st Century  furniture upgrades)

$1 million


$105.8 million