Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media

If Owatonna School District voters approve a new high school in a Novermber 5 vote, it will be constructed in the southern part of town near the intersection of Highways 218 and 14. The district announced the site Wednesday. Federated Insurance has signed a letter of intent to purchase the 88-acre piece of land at 1945 SE 18th St and donate it to the district if the bond referendum for a new school passes.

A vote for a new Owatonna High School was narrowly defeated this past May by a 50.5% to 49.5% percent difference or 120 votes. Owatonna Schools Superintendent Jeff Elstad says in the news release, "We worked hard to listen to our community, and identifying this land is one of our many responses. We are incredibly grateful to Federated for offering to donate the land to us, if the November vote is successful. Their gift reduces the tax impact for our residents, which was another concern we heard."

Elstad is hosting a series of Coffee and Conversation events where residents can ask questions or find out other details in a low-key casual manner. The informal gatherings continue Friday, October 11 at Starbucks Coffee at 641 W Bridge St from 8 - 9 am and Monday, October 14 at Sun Rise Grill at 205 N Oak Ave from 2 - 3 pm. See the full list here.

Federated Insurance Chairman and CEO Jeff Fetters states in Wednesday's news release, "Federated believes that a strong educational system with supportive facilities is at the heart of what drives a successful community. The quality of life in Owatonna is more important than ever, not just for Federated Insurance, but for the future of this community."

Troy Klecker, Community Development Director for the City of Owatonna, says, "This is a good site for a high school in terms of soil conditions, existing infrastructure and the long term development plan for the city.

The school district created the website www.owatonnaproud.org for a location to go for information on the November 5, 2019 vote. Early voting continues through Monday, Nocember 4.