Voters head to polls Tuesday for Williston Public School District 1

WILLISTON, N.D. - Tomorrow will be a big day for Williston Public School District 1.

Voters will be heading to the polls to vote on a $60 million bond referendum to fund two new elementary schools, plus an addition to the current high school.

The project would also be funded through increasing the property tax levy from 10 mills to 20 mills, which means the owner of a property in District 1 with a True and Full Value of $150,000 would be looking at an extra $26.76 per month in Estimated Tax Impact.

The rest of the money would come from the district's building fund. District 1 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Thake is imploring voters to exercise their right to vote and says something needs to be done quickly before the problem gets worse.

"The overcrowding in our buildings is real. A lot of our elementary class sections are approaching thirty students our more. Something has to give. We need space, we need more space for our students," Dr. Thake.

Dr. Thake says the student population of about 4,365 students has far surpassed the 3,900 capacity limit and even with the addition of some modular classrooms, almost every District 1 building is over capacity.

The district remains one of the fastest growing in the state and the two new 600-capacity elementary schools would allow the district to move fifth graders from Bakken Elementary back, which would make room for more students at Williston Middle School.

"We knew exactly where we stood after the survey about what we missed last time and everything we put together this time we believe is a direct reflection of what our community wants and needs when it comes to moving forward," said Dr. Thake.

Voting begins Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the Williston ARC and goes until 7 p.m. Voters are asked to use the main entrance.