The votes are in!



Jessica Wagner

Vote sticker

The Owatonna School District is going to go through some major changes through these next school years. According to WCCO (CBS Minnesota), 68% of Minnesota School Districts were voting on school bond referendums. The Owatonna community came together and voted “Yes” for the bond referendum. Thanks to all the hours put into perfecting this bond, many school board meetings and Owatonna Forward’s grass root efforts, the bond referendum is a success.

What does this mean for Owatonna? The Owatonna School District will be spending $77.9 million to make many improvements in the district. The changes needed fall under three categories: crowded elementary schools, school security issues and deferred maintenance needs to aging buildings. The Owatonna Junior High School, Washington Elementary and Willow Creek will be the schools that are most majorly affected.

The largest change will be made to the Owatonna Junior High School by adding the sixth graders to the school. By redistributing and converting Willow Creek Intermediate School into an elementary school, our students will be back into classrooms with the right amount of students. OJHS will be adding to their building, so they will be able to accommodate for the sixth graders in years to come. The junior high will also have some maintenance needs taken care of, and they will have changes in their security to make the school an even more secure place for their students to learn in.

Another major change the Owatonna School District will have is the closing of Washington Elementary School. Washington will being going offline in the school years to come. The elementary school is not efficient enough to keep in the district and there are too many things that would need to be changed in the school. The school district is still figuring out a plan in regards to where the students of Washington Elementary will go and what to do with the empty building.

Willow Creek Intermediate School will be converted into an elementary school. Willow Creek will have several additions made to the building, and their portable classrooms will be made permanent. This will be a large improvement, solving overcrowding issues, along with making our district more efficient. There will no longer be an unneeded transition for the sixth graders; this will help make the students learn more because of the time saved with going straight to the Owatonna Junior High School.

Thank you again to the Owatonna Community for coming together, and voting “Yes” to the bond referendum. This will improve our school district dramatically and make our students better. Thanks to the bond referendum, our students will be learning in safer, more efficient schools that will last for another thirty to fifty years to come.