Cherry School Board Approves $3 Million Addition

Posted at: 09/09/2013 10:42 PM | Updated at: 09/09/2013 10:44 PM
By: Zach Hammer
zhammer@wdio.com

A vote by the Cherry School Board on Monday night clears the way for expansion plans, which would add eight new classrooms.
 
Officials say the extra space is needed because of a 45% increase in enrolled over the past four years. While Cherry's enrollment was 312 students during the 2009-2010 school year, this year there are 453 students, according to a press release from the school.
 
"Five years ago, the school board questioned whether our district could survive in the future because of declining enrollment," said Board Chair Bob Larson in the press release. "Today, the result of our facilities plan and more classroom choices is that enrollment is exceeding projections, and our new challenge is to provide adequate facilities for every family that is choosing St. Louis County Schools." 
 
Larson said Monday night that the expansion passed with a 6-1 vote. 
 
The $3 million project now will be submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education for a review and comment process. If approved, Larson says construction can begin by the spring, and hopes to have the addition completed by the start of the next school year.
 
Property taxes will be increased to pay for the expansion, which Larson says will result in a 50-cent-per-month tax increase on homes valued at $100,000 within the school district.
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