With referendum approved, district looks to getting dog track rezonedSchool board and superintendent thank the community for passing the referendum to purchase St. Croix Meadows.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Wearing a broad smile, Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten thanked voters on Wednesday for supporting the referendum in Tuesday’s election that cleared the way for the Hudson School District to purchase the St. Croix Meadows dog track
Calling the vote a win for students and the community, Bowen-Eggebraaten said “Voters recognized the need for additional space for learning and supported the vision of a new 21st century school. We are thrilled that every municipality supported the referendum. We extend a huge thank you to those in our community who supported the purchase with their vote.”
The purchase price of the property is $8.25 million. The district has said that as many as 90,000 square feet of the main building on the site can be repurposed for use as a secondary school. The purchase is estimated to cost a taxpayer who owns a $200,000 home around $18.
The superintendent said the next step in the process will be to appear at the City of Hudson’s rezoning hearing and request that the city “honor the will of the voters by rezoning the property so it can become a future school site.” The site is currently zoned commercial. She noted that 60 percent of voters in the city supported the referendum.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said that the district is ready to proceed with plans to get widespread community involvement to determine what a new secondary school will look like. She said that process will take approximately six months. She said a plan for the new school and a referendum to fund the project could come sometime between April and December of next year. With voter approval the earliest a new school would open would be in 2016.
School board vice president Tom Holland, who was re-elected in Tuesday’s election, offered his thanks to the community as well. “On behalf of our president Barb Van Loenen and all of the board, I want to say thank you to the community, especially those from Vote Yes Hudson, for their support and the statement they made about the direction we are taking this district in.”
Bowen-Eggebraaten also acknowledged the work of “dedicated community leaders from Vote Yes Hudson who helped inform the voters of the need and the plan.”
The referendum was approved by a vote of 4,789 to 3,768. It was approved in every ward in the City of Hudson, North Hudson and in the towns of St. Joseph, Hudson and Troy.