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PR-B School bond referendum vote is Tuesday: Cast ballots 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at city hall

Echo Journal file photo.

Pine River-Backus School District residents will head to the polls Tuesday, May 14, to vote on the district's proposed $15,295,000 building bond referendum.

There is just one polling place - Pine River City Hall - and voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voters living in precincts that vote by mail in statewide elections did not receive a ballot by mail for this election. Absentee ballots are still available by visiting Pine River City Hall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday, May 10; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, May 13.

For more information, call 218-587-4720 or visit prbschools.org online.

The referendum question on the ballot reads:

"Shall the school board of Independent School District No. 2174 (Pine River-Backus) be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $15,295,000 to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of a career-technical education classroom addition to the high school facility; the construction and equipping of an auditorium and performing arts space addition to the high school facility; the renovation and repair of the existing high school gymnasium; and the construction, renovation and repair of football field facilities?"

The question covers four projects:

• Career Technology Education addition and remodeling: $1,614,319.

This project would add 4,850 square feet to the current wood and metal shops and renovate 4,569 square feet of the current space featuring updates to facilities, optimized work space for new technology and processes, and a clean room for computer equipment needed for 3D printing and CNC designs.

• Multi-purpose performance addition and classroom remodeling: $9,198,827.

This project would create a dedicated 28,500-square-foot addition, including a 590-seat auditorium space, band and choir practice rooms and a scene shop that could be used for projects by the CTE students.

This leg of the project also includes 4,540 square feet of renovations for the current band and choir practice rooms, which would be renovated for needed classroom space in the high school.

The auditorium would not only be used for school productions and events, but also for community events. Currently, the school uses one of the old gyms for performances and events, which is shared with athletics and gym classes. The auditorium would be a dedicated space with appropriate lighting and acoustics.

• High school gymnasium renovation: $1,031,100.

This 9,950-square-foot renovation would repair the walls and ceiling of the high school gymnasium. It would include an update to the graphics on the gym floor along with refinishing. The renovations would eliminate problems with accessibility and occupancy ratings.

• Football and track support facilities (concessions, restrooms, storage and ticketing/entry gate): $442,792.

This 2,980-square-foot construction project would replace and expand on the school's current concessions, restroom and storage space at the football field. The current concession section is not up to code, the current restrooms are inoperable and storage is both inadequate and prone to flooding.

The new facility would resolve those issues while expanding storage in a way that could result in home-based track and field meets. Currently the school does not have enough storage for equipment needed to host meets.

The project would also include an entryway with ticket sales designed to represent the home team and appear welcoming to those attending events.

Though they are not being paid for with the bond, two other projects to be paid for with district funds include:

• An outdoor storage building: $750,821.

This 7,720-square-foot building would replace a current 2,966-square-foot building on school property for the purpose of creating additional indoor storage space for district buses. When the district built a bus garage on the other side of the road, it built the building as large as allowable.

Since then the district has needed indoor storage for four more buses. This building would provide space for six and storage for other building and grounds equipment and district property.

• High school media center renovation: $636,960.

Renovation of the 3,385 square feet of space would focus on increasing space optimization of the current high school media center through updated layouts and furniture, creation of conference rooms, office space and storage while preserving 98% of the existing shelf space. The design would allow more focused small group work space and independent study.