EVELETH, MN — Schools in Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia are one step closer to joining forces.
Voters in three communities passed a referendum Tuesday by a vote to make Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia schools one district, and build new schools in the process.
At this time, the official numbers are unknown, as all votes are preliminary, and will be finalized on Wednesday.
The referendum asked voters to approve moving the two town’s high schools into one, and build new elementary schools.
Officials CBS 3 Duluth spoke with say the turnout at the polls was busier than expected.
The public is being asked to cover about 19% of the nearly $200 million cost.
Now that the referendum has passed, construction of a new high school in the Midway area just off Highway 53, as well as two new elementary schools will go up – one in Virginia and one in Eveleth.
The consolidation will be a three to five year process, and decisions regarding sports teams, mascots, and school colors will also begin.