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School shares plans with liaison committee

Public meetings on a proposed second high school and third middle school are to be scheduled in July, according to Superintendent Mark Vollmer with Minot Public Schools.

“If we want to run a bond issue this year again, we need to get rolling on this and we’ll need to make a final determination of what the ask would be, I think no later than September 8,” Vollmer said. “So we come to the table with a plan that we can get 60% voter approval on in December.”

Vollmer told the local government liaison committee Wednesday that the district wants to add 110,000 square feet to a 115,000-square-foot existing building in north Minot for a second high school. It would need some renovations at the 275,000-square-foot Magic City Campus/Career and Technical Center to convert the facility for juniors and seniors into a 9-12 grade high school. Freshmen and sophomores at Central Campus would relocate to one of the high schools, and Central Campus would be remodeled into a middle school.

Vollmer said the high schools would be designed to each accommodate 1,200 students to handle the number of students expected in coming years. The best-case scenario would be opening in the fall of 2023, he said.

Ward County Commissioner John Pietsch questioned why the need for more space when the graduating class is about 200 students less than 45 years ago. Vollmer explained educational needs have changed, including the addition of special education and increased electives. Credits needed to graduate also increased from 17 to 22, he said.

School board member Mike Gessner provided the following information on how Minot high schools of nearly 1,200 students would compare with other large community schools’ recent enrollment: West Fargo Sheyenne, 1,458; Fargo South, 1,034; Fargo Davies, 1,274; Fargo North, 973; Grand Forks Red River, 1,071; Grand Forks Central, 1,020; Williston, 1,166; Dickinson, 945; Jamestown, 696; Mandan, 1,026, Bismarck Legacy, 1,189; Bismarck High, 1,191; Bismarck Century, 1,252. Minot listed a high school enrollment on all campuses for 2020-21 of 2,027 students, according to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

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