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While the Chisholm Public Schools deliver an excellent educational experience to our students, we face a number of operational and facility challenges that we must address soon. Over the past three years, we have been engaged in a community-driven process to examine these needs and find potential solutions. This process has been led by our Community Task Force.

What are our operational needs?

The Chisholm Public Schools currently has an operating levy in place that is set to expire in 2024. The district has used these funds for a variety of purposes, including equipment and supplies, teacher and staff salaries, co-curricular programs, and student technology. 

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Without a replacement levy, the district would lose about $200,000 per year in funding. This would lead to a reduction of programs and services for students. 

What are our facility needs?

Vaughan Steffensrud School, Chisholm Elementary, and Chisholm High School each have pressing facility and deferred maintenance needs that require the attention of our entire community. 

Our Facility Needs​



Year Built: 1958

Grades Served: PreK-3

Est. Deferred Maintenance: $7 million

Key Facility Needs:

  • Ventilation & temperature control issues

  • Lack of dehumidification

  • Gym doubles as cafeteria

  • Undersized kitchen & storage areas

  • Basement flooding

  • Flooring needs replacement

  • Lack of developed field space

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Year Built: 1913

Grades Served: 4-6

Est. Deferred Maintenance: $18 million

Key Facility Needs:

  • More secure entrance

  • Kitchen & cafeteria is undersized and also serves the high school

  • Safety concerns with parent pick-up/drop-off on city street

  • Students must cross street to access playground

  • Limited ventilation systems & lack of dehumidification

  • Plumbing systems & building envelope need upgrades


Year Built: 1924

Grades Served: 7-12

Est. Deferred Maintenance: $17.5 million

Key Facility Needs:

  • Needed improvements to plumbing systems, building envelope, boiler system, temperature control & flooring/windows in classrooms

  • No dedicated kitchen/cafeteria

  • No adjacent field space for athletics, activities & phys ed

  • Swimming/diving pool too small/shallow for competitions; filtration system needs upgrades

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CPS has far more deferred maintenance needs than Long Term Facilities Maintenance Revenue (LTFMR) funds available. The district receives $300,000 of LTFMR annually—and $200,000 is committed to current bonded facility projects. This leaves only about $100,000 per year until 2039. The district has already spent more than $100,000 on emergency repairs alone in the past year.

The Process

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Proposed Solution


The Chisholm School Board is considering both an operating levy question and a bond referendum question for the November 8, 2022 ballot. 


If the bond referendum is approved, the district would borrow $32M to close both Chisholm Elementary and the Vaughan and add a new Elementary to the existing High School. Major needs at the High School would also be addressed. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the estimated tax impact would be $306/year. There’s no tax rate increase for the operating levy as the district would renew at the current amount.


When communities support an operating levy, they provide a school district general funds to use for teachers’ salaries, textbooks, co-curricular programs, transportation, computers, utilities, and general operations.


A bond referendum provides a district with funds to make improvements to facilities and building infrastructure. For example, bonds can be used for major construction, such as renovation, building an addition, building new schools, or general building projects. 

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If approved, the referendum would allow the district to move forward on the following at the existing high school site:

  • Addition for early childhood through 6th grade students

  • Separate bus/parent drop-off

  • New outdoor play area/green space

  • New kitchen and commons

  • New competition gym with lockers

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades

  • Replacement of all remaining windows

  • Steam to hot water conversion and controls upgrades (including new boilers)

  • Refurbishment of auditorium seats

  • Gutter replacements

  • Exterior wall repairs/tuck pointing

  • Roof replacements

  • Waterproofing of electrical vault

Please use the form below to submit any questions or feedback you may have.

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