On Tuesday, May 14, residents in Williams County Public School District No. 8 will have a chance to vote on a plan that would build three new schools.

Here are a few things you should know about the plan.

The total possible cost is $89 million.

Voters will be asked to weigh in on two questions. The first is whether they approve issuing bonds of up to $89 million for two elementary schools and a high school. The second is whether voters will allow the district to go into debt for more than 5 percent of its total taxable valuation. The proposal for the schools estimated that each elementary will cost about $23.3 million and the high school would cost about $37.4 million. The rest of the money would be used for land purchases and other contingencies.

The new schools would add space for 1,800 students.

The two 600-student elementary schools would replace the district’s existing elementaries — Round Prairie and Garden Valley. The high school would also have space for 600 students, and with Missouri Ridge, which will eventually have room for 450 students, the district would have space for a total of 2,250. Current enrollment is about 670 students, compared to five years ago, when there were fewer than 250. Enrollment projections by RSP, a consulting firm hired by the district, put the total number of students in the district by 2023 at about 1,600.

The district has expanded voting options for the election.

The board for District 8 chose to have more than one polling location for the bond referendum and for the upcoming school board election. In addition to the district office, which is at 111 Seventh Ave. W in Williston, voters also have the option of voting at the Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative building, which is at 218 58th Street W in Williston. The polls will be open at both locations from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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