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Elm Creek Golf Course Closed, What Could Happen With the Land?

Part of the land will become homes while the rest is slated to expand part of the Wayzata School District as long as voters approve.

As of Labor Day weekend, the Elm Creek Golf Course has closed its operations, reported the Star Tribune.

Back in May, the Plymouth City Council approved a rezoning of the property so it could be developed for another use and now that use is moving forward. According to the Trib, 69 acres of the 18-hole course will become 156 high-end homes called Creekside Hills.  Construction for the new homes is slated to begin next year by GWS Development.

The course's total land is 110 acres off Highway 55 and County Road 101 in Plymouth. So what about the rest of the land?

The Wayzata School District purchased the remaining 40 acres next to Wayzata High School for possible future expansion. 

According to the district, because of the significant enrollment increases the district seeks to add onto the high school and build a new elementary school as well as upgrade security and technology. In fact, this decision is up for School Board approval at the Monday, Oct. 14, board meeting and was discussed by the board at its Sept. 9 meeting.

The proposal is based on three years of long-range planning, including work by a citizen facilities task force and the school district’s facilities committee, enrollment projections and research about the district’s population.

"We originally identified $155 million in facilities needs but prioritized them down to $109.65 million that would require voter-approved funding," said Wayzata School District Finance Director Jim Westrum. "Fortunately we are in an excellent position to consider issuing long-term debt due to our AAA bond rating, our low debt ratio compared to neighboring districts, the fact the high school debt will be paid off in 2017 and years of careful financial planning."

If the board approves the plan at the October meeting funding for the proposal would come from $109.65 million in new voter-approved bonds and a renewed technology levy; both requests would be on a special election ballot in early 2014.

And convincing the voters to support those requests could be a challenge. If none of it passes next year, the district could use a buyback provision and return the property to the developer,reports the Star Tribune.

GWS Development would be fine with developing the rest of the land if that happens. But even more homes would mean possibly more students for the district, reports the Tribune.

"Realtors and families tell us that they move into our district for our quality schools," said School Board Chair Sue Droegemueller. "We need to provide everyone with the educational experience our entire community expects and deserves."

More information can be found on the Wayzata School District website.

(Some information provided by the Wayzata School District press release.)

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