Unofficial Results

The unofficial school referendum results:

381 Yes

326 No

707 Total Voters 

54% support falls short of the 60% threshold in North Dakota and the referendum fails.

Results are unofficial until the school board canvasses the results in a special school board meeting 14 days after the vote. That is why all current notification states unofficial. 

**Below is a column from last week's Griggs County Courier providing information on what is next for the school following the referendum vote.

What Happens Next?

By: Derek Simonsen - GCC Superintendent

On Tuesday, January 16, 2024 the school referendum vote will take place at Griggs County Central. The details of the vote have been mailed to residents and provided in the local newspaper, on social media, and on the school website. There have been opportunities to visit the school for an open house and school tours.

The process to get to this point for the district has taken several years. There have been facility assessments, strategic planning sessions, community meetings, board meetings, public meetings, enrollment evaluations, community and staff surveys, and countless other meetings.

Whatever the community decides on January 16 will be respected by the district but one of the more frequent questions lately has been, “what’s next?”

If the referendum fails, the district will be unable to request another vote for one calendar year. It also means that the district will have to re-evaluate the needs and prioritize items in the current building to address the areas that are the most pressing. A failed referendum does not change the need as GCC has already received communication on seven more students coming into the district for the month of January. The failed referendum will require the district to look at short term solutions with current space.

Along with that, I will continue to work with the school construction coalition in the state to propose new ideas to state legislators for school construction support from the state level. I believe that there are equity issues in the state when it comes to school construction as the burden on rural residents is far greater than it is for urban residents. A near 70-million-dollar referendum in Dickinson is a lower cost to their individual residents than a 7.9-million-dollar referendum is to GCC residents. That is something that myself and other school construction coalition members are attempting to address at the state level. I am hopeful that some quality ideas and proposals will be moving forward in the next state legislative session next winter.

If the referendum passes, the immediate next step would be to apply for a low interest school construction loan from the Bank of North Dakota. Approved school construction projects can apply for 2% interest funding from the Bank of North Dakota. That would be a significant savings on interest costs, and it is important that is applied for immediately. The current rate that is estimated on the tax impact statements for the public is around 3.9%. After that application is submitted there would be school board meetings with the architects and construction managers to determine specific timelines and the process moving forward.

Ultimately, the next step for the district will always be to improve. GCC continually looks at ways to improve academic achievement, physical safety, and mental health of students while preparing them to be productive members of the community. This spring GCC is implementing mentoring and mental health supports along with additional academic intervention and behavior supports. There is never a day that GCC assumes everything is going perfectly. The district is always trying to learn from the previous day and improve processes, plans, and procedures. No one in the building is perfect but everyone is doing their best for the students and the community.