Fargo-Gage Public Schools

Bond Issue August 13th, 2019

Fargo-Gage Public Schools is asking voters to invest in our students so that we can provide the best all-around educational environment for ALL students. The upcoming bond issue will cover the following areas:

Facilities

New Cafeteria/Auditorium

Fargo-Gage Site Plan


Why do we need a new cafeteria?

With our student numbers continuing to grow, our current cafeteria is struggling to keep up. To compensate for the existing limited seating, multiple lunch times are scheduled for Elementary students in order to allow for proper space to accommodate the students, teachers, and teacher aids. With the new cafeteria, there would be adequate space to safely serve our students and staff with a more efficient and accommodating time schedule.


Food and supplies storage are located across the seating area and opposite the cooking and serving area. Storage access requires navigating steps, ramps and security doors in order to move the numerous, heavy food items to and from their serving area on a daily basis. The proposed cafeteria would have all freezers, refrigerators, and storage within the working area of the cafeteria kitchen.

Why do we need a new Auditorium?

Many of you have experienced the “quaintness” of our auditorium, which is a converted gymnasium that was originally constructed in 1924. If you have ever attended a Spring Concert or Christmas Program, you are aware there is never enough seating for those events. The stage of our current auditorium is quite small and does not accommodate our band and choir performances. The proposed auditorium has changing rooms, restrooms, and an area for the piano to easily be stored or moved to another building. It is also handicapped accessible for both students and visitors and includes a lift to get onto the stage. The new facility will be inviting and functional for a wide range of events and is something students and patrons can be proud of for years to come.

What would the Event Center be used for?

On a daily basis, the cafeteria will be used for preparing and serving breakfast and lunch to our kids, faculty and visitors. The auditorium will be available for daily activities for both Elementary and High School students involved in music, band and choir.


As a multi-purpose Event Center, the combined facility will comfortably accommodate major events such as Graduation, Veterans Day Program, Awards Programs, Christmas Programs, Plays, Mr. Irresistible/Miss Fargo-Gage Pageant, Band Concerts, etc. The cafeteria section can easily be rearranged to provide a “commons” area for receptions and the general fellowship activities associated with these events.


In addition to our local Fargo-Gage school assemblies, quiz bowls, teacher professional training, etc., our school will be able to host county events and area activities such as band and music competitions, teacher professional development and the county spelling bee.


Lastly, the Event Center will see use for community/public events which include Alumni Reunions, funerals, community nights, etc.

Will any buildings be removed?

The two portable buildings on the northwest corner of Main Street and 6th Street will be moved to property that we currently have available. No permanent buildings will be removed to construct our new Auditorium/Cafeteria. For safety and site considerations, 6th Street will be limited to school service traffic between Main and Walnut Street.

What is the cost of the Proposition?

The cost for the Building Bond is $6.26 million dollars. This is an 8-year proposition in which the sinking (bond) fund millage is projected to be consistent with our current bond issue which has ranged between 20-25 mills over the past 5 years. The projected sinking fund millage for the new bond issue is 23.81 mills. As the District Valuation will vary from year-to-year, the actual sinking fund millage will also vary, with some years likely being slightly higher and some years likely being slightly lower. The millage projections reflect a “flat” District Valuation. We have grown at an annual rate of 3.24% over the last five years.


The above Building Bond amount reflects a reduction of $671,000 through utilization of savings from the prior bond issue and building fund dollars.

Why Now?

Construction cost will continue to rise and only increase the bond issue amounts down the road. Our students are performing well, we have a need, we have the kids and we have the resources. This is a project we can be proud of for many years to come.

How much of this Bond will be paid by local patrons of Fargo-Gage School District?

According to the most recent valuation figures, outside entities (primarily corporations) will pay approximately 80% of this bond. That means that roughly $5,008,000 of the $6,260,000 bill for this build will be paid for by outside entities. To look at it another way, 4 out of every 5 dollars will be contributed from out-of-district property owners. There is no other mechanism available to bring such a significant outside investment into our school community.

What is our district's current net assessed valuation?

$41,082,305 – per the Assessor’s Report to Excise Board for both Ellis County (7/23/2018) and Woodward County (7/30/18)

Are the current Bonds paid off?

The current bond has two remaining payments totaling $1,650,000 dollars with the final payment due in 2020.

With passage of these bonds, when will the first payment be paid?

The first principal payment of the new bond will not occur until the year after the current bond issue is paid off. As such, the sinking (bond) fund millage is projected to remain consistent with the prior bond issue projected millage rate of 23.81.

With passage of the new bond issue, how does the investment compare to recent issues at neighboring school districts?

Seiling Public Schools – projected increase in property taxes of 37.28% - projected sinking fund millage rate of 25.16 -

Bond Amount $28,125,000 - 16 Years


Thomas-Fay-Custer United Schools projected increase in property taxes 19.18% - projected sinking fund millage rate 25.00 –

Bond Amount $21,010,000 – 14 Years


Mooreland Schools – projected increase in property taxes of 21.63% - projected sinking fund millage 29.17 –

Bond Amount $19,135,000 - 14 Years


Fargo-Gage Public Schools - Property tax is projected to remain consistent with the current bond issue millage. The sinking fund millage has been between 20-25 mills throughout the current issue and the new proposal is projected to be 23.81 mills. 

Bond Amount $6.26 million - 8 Years

When do we vote?

August 13, 2019 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at your regular polling place.

What percentage approval does the bond issue need to pass?

School bond issues require a 60 percent super majority. That means that 60 percent of the people who vote in the election have to support the bond issue in order for it to pass. Every vote counts in the Fargo-Gage School Bond Issue election.