BY ABDISADIK AIDRUS
Hey, did you know there's a referendum this year to try to get approval to build a new Tech High School and renovate Apollo High School? Check out the details here.
The Saint Cloud Board of Education has voted to have two questions written on the general election ballot November 8th:
Question 1: Do you support a tax increase to pay for the 104.5 million dollar cost to build a new Tech High School?
Question 2: Do you support a tax increase to pay for the 38.75 million dollar cost to renovate Apollo High School?
Here's something interesting: Question 2 is contingent on Question 1 passing which means that in order to renovate Apollo, voters have to agree to build a new Tech.
The last referendum failed, I believe, because we are a very diverse community with strong and sometimes competing priorities when thinking above the huge numbers listed above. But let's think about the issue in a slightly different way.
For just $13 a month all students in District 742 would have access to a new Tech high school and a renovated Apollo High School. Yep, you read that right. And just to be on the safe side, you can go back and read it again. If you still think that is too much money, then allow me to break it down for you.
$13 is how much you pay for two chicken burritos at Chipotle. $13 is how much you pay for a Netflix account. $13 is what you pay to see a movie at the theatre. So please don't let the numbers scare you. At the end of the month, those burritos for $13 won't outshine the benefit the St. Cloud community will experience for years to come.
In addition to building a new Tech and renovating Apollo, the referendum will address the outdated facilities across the district, providing safe, affordable, and accessible schools for all students and staff while equipping students with the technology and resources needed to succeed in today's and tomorrow's society.
This referendum, as Superintendent Willie Jett said, "is bigger than a building." It's about personalized educational needs of the students, ensuring the future economic vitality of the region and meeting the workforce needs of our community. Currently, we are not able to adequately accomplish these goals at Tech or Apollo. If you have any doubts about that, you should probably start looking around you.