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Referendum Passes Brainerd School District

It likely won’t be a day Brainerd school officials will forget anytime soon. On Tuesday, April 10, the majority of nearly 10,000 voters approved all three ballot questions posed by the Brainerd School District concerning its bonding referendum. The three ballot questions asked voters to: Question 1: Invest in the elementary school buildings and Early Childhood Family Education program for a total cost of $104 million, with a voter-approved cost is $68.4 million. The question was approved with 5,900 voting in favor, and 3,892 voting against -- a more than 2,000-vote margin. Question 2: Invest in the secondary buildings for a total cost of $93 million, with a voter-approved cost is $69.4 million. A nearly 1,000-vote margin separated the “yes” and “no” votes: 5,390 in favor, 4,396 against. Question 3: Invest in an enhanced performing arts center for a total cost of $8 million, which would be fully supported by voter-approved dollars. The third question passed by the slimmest margin, with 4,995 in favor and 4,762 against. Question 3 was contingent on the second question passing; meaning if Question 2 failed, so did the third. Voting districts leaning in favor of the referendum questions were those surrounding Brainerd, Baxter, Unorganized Territory and Nisswa, while the more rural districts tended toward disapproval.