Voters approve Lakeville Area Schools referendum request for funding to staff and operate Highview Elementary, Question 2 denied
November 7, 2023
On Nov. 7, 2023, voters in the Lakeville Area School District 194 approved Question 1, an operational levy request to staff and operate the new elementary school, Highview Elementary. The vote was 55.6% yes to 44.4% no (unofficial results: 5,398 yes votes, 4,312 no votes). The operational levy amounts to about $4 per month for the average homeowner ($465,000 home value).
Voters denied Question 2 on the ballot, however, which was an operational levy request to expand mental health, behavioral and academic support across all schools, and the means to attract and retain highly-qualified staff. The vote was 49.3% yes to 50.7% no (unofficial results: 4,782 yes votes, 4,924 no votes).
The referendum request was in response to continued student and community growth, putting pressure on existing elementary school space, and to foster academic excellence for the growing student population. Projections indicate that the district will have 900 more elementary students in the next five years, and over the next decade total K-12 enrollment is expected to increase by 30 percent. The Lakeville area has and continues to see a strong demand for housing development and is expected to see residential growth for the foreseeable future; over the past five years, Lakeville has added more than 3,000 new homes and townhomes. When the community grows, schools need to grow as well.
With the passing of Question 1, and the denial of Question 2, next steps include:
Conducting attendance area adjustments and identifying who will attend the new elementary school, Highview Elementary. A process that will begin this winter and will include stakeholder input.
Hiring a school principal, support and office staff, custodial and grounds staff, a school counselor, and other specialists for Highview Elementary.
Opening Highview Elementary in Fall 2024, alleviating crowding at existing elementary schools.
“We are thankful for our community’s support and understanding of our elementary capacity needs,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Van Zyl. “While Question 2 did not pass, the passing of Question 1 helps us accommodate our growing elementary student enrollment. Our challenges are not limited to the elementary level, however. While Question 2 did not receive the support we had hoped for, our schools remain committed to meeting the needs of all of our students.”
The district will continue to keep the community informed as plans unfold.
More information about the referendum can be found at www.isd194.org/GrowingTogether.