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Devils Lake Schools vote for $6.8 million addition fails

This submitted graphic shows revised plans for a Devils Lake Public Schools addition project. An attempt to pass a bond measure that would have allowed the district to build the $6.85 million addition failed Tuesday, Oct. 2.

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. — A second attempt to pass a bond measure that would allow Devils Lake Public Schools to build a $6.85 million addition has failed.

According to unofficial results, the majority of residents in the district who voted in the Tuesday, Oct. 2, election—56 percent—voted for the bond issuance, with 1,111 of 1,974 voters saying yes to build a roughly 24,000-square-foot addition that would connect the high school to the technology center. The measure needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.

The turnout garnered about 130 fewer votes than a similar election held in March 2017. The 2017 vote attracted a 53 percent approval rate.

Superintendent Scott Privratsky said he was disappointed for the students because they won't have their own venue to showcase their talents for music and arts. Both votes called for an auditorium for arts students, with proponents saying the structure that would connect the two separate buildings would improve safety and security.

The tax levy for the school would have increased by 9.99 mills if the project was approved. For a home worth $150,000, that would mean an increase of $67.43 on an annual property tax bill.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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