Approved Referendum Means Big Improvements For Lake Superior School District

There is no time frame for the completion of the projects. 

TWO HARBORS, Minn. — The Lake Superior School District up the north shore received the go-ahead on one part of a two-question referendum Wednesday night.

61% of voters approved a multi-million dollar plan to make major improvements to the infrastructure of three schools.

“I floated out of the building to be honest last night to be honest,” Lake Superior School District Superintendent, Jay Belcastro says.

The projects worth just under 45 million dollars are an extension of the bonds used to build Two Harbors High School in 2005.

They would allow the district to make necessary improvements in Minnehaha Elementary in Two Harbors and William Kelly Middle school in Silver Bay without impacting property tax.

“We’re going to have windows, we’re going to have collaborative space. We’re going to really readjust the space to ensure it supports how kids learn today,” Belcastro says.

That includes moving lockers up against the walls, making room for a common area and counseling suite in the high school as well as new entrances on all three sites.

“Moving high school and elementary offices closer to exterior doors making sure we can protect who is in our building,” Belcastro says.

With Minnehaha and William Kelley being built in the 40s and 50s the superintendent of the district knew a change had to come.

“Good bones in the buildings but major upgrades needed,” Belcastro says.

Passing the first referendum question will provide the staff and the students an experience of being in a modern learning facility.

The second question on the referendum did not pass leaving the district without seven million dollars in updated athletic facilities.

“It’s not the end of this project. It’s maybe a little step back. But to have 45% of our voters say yes that is important to us that’s huge. So I think what we need to continue to do is educate,” Two Harbors Community Member, Amy Jordahl says.

Educate people on the benefits of switching to a turf field ensuring the safety of all athletes using the facility.

It would also bring more people to Two Harbors.

“So we can have that hometown experience for our student-athletes and for our community also. Those spaces could also be used as community spaces as well not just for our school district,” Jordahl says.

The next step in the approved referendum question is the construction phase where an architecture firm will come in to rehabilitate the old buildings.

There is no time frame for the completion of the projects.

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