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Lakeview School District ‘hoping for good turnout’ at polls

COTTONWOOD — Voters in the Lakeview School District will be heading to the polls today, as the school faces a two-question building bond referendum that could carry a total cost of up to $10.8 million.

The referendum would fund a variety of updates to the older part of the Lakeview school building in Cottonwood, as well as to the athletic fields, if both questions pass.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout,” Lakeview Superintendent Chris Fenske said Monday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to hold in-person public meetings to answer questions about the referendum, so Lakeview has been getting the word out through the school district website and a series of livestreamed virtual meetings. Recordings of the virtual meetings received several hundred views, Fenske said.

The referendum has two questions. If both pass, the total facilities bonds would come to $10.8 million. The first question in the referendum would cover a variety of facilities updates to the 2002 portion of the Lakeview school building. The referendum includes replacing the roof and HVAC units, resurfacing the parking lot, replacing the kitchen freezer and cooler, and other building updates, for $7.865 million.

Fenske and school staff said the roof in the 2002 part of the school has problems with leaks, and the 2002 building’s 35 rooftop HVAC units need to be replaced.

The second referendum question would resurface the Lakeview track, install artificial turf on the football field and convert one softball field to a youth baseball field, for $2.95 million.

Fenske said the referendum was split into two questions as a result of public feedback. Earlier this fall, voters said they were less certain of whether they would support bonding for the athletic field updates.

So far, community members have been curious about the second question in the referendum. Fenske said.

“The most (feedback) I’ve heard is probably regarding Question 2, people wanting more information,” he said.

The polls will be open today from noon to 8 p.m. at the Cottonwood and Wood Lake Community Centers. Voters in the city of Cottonwood, in Lucas, Vallers, Westerheim, Stanley and Fairview Townships in Lyon County, and in Sandnes and Normania Townships in Yellow Medicine County, will vote at the Cottonwood Community Center. Voters in the city of Wood Lake, and in Wood Lake, Posen, Sioux Agency and Minnesota Falls Townships in Yellow Medicine County will vote at the Wood Lake Community Center.

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