OUR BUILDINGS ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR THE EDUCATION WE PROVIDE
As a small school system that provides big opportunities, we work hard to use space wisely. However, we have reached the point where new investments are needed to sustain success.
As the District developed the plan the voters will consider in February, we carefully considered all needs and identified the following as the top priorities.
Our schools continue to exceed projections for student enrollment. In the past ten years our schools have seen 17% growth. District growth over the next 10 years is projected at 3%.
We’re excited to welcome new students to our halls each year, but our buildings were not built to handle the student population we currently have, much less that of our larger student bodies in the future. Additional space is needed to best serve our current population as well as the students who will enter our buildings for decades to come.
Our buildings lack proper supervised and controlled access. We hope that there are never issues in our school that would put students and staff in harm’s way. However, properly-secured entrances and smart building design are critical to keeping our students safe if anything were to happen.
Additionally, portions of our buildings don’t meet federal accessibility standards (Americans with Disabilities Act). We need to bring these sections of our buildings up to code so they are safe and accessible for all students.
Students need an education that equips them for life beyond graduation, no matter the path they choose. That education today looks a lot different than it did in 1976 - the last time our communities made a major investment in our core educational facilities. Our buildings are not designed or built in a fashion that works for today’s educational best practices. Here are areas of note:
Our buildings lack proper space for science labs, early learning, and Special Education.
No collaborative spaces exist so that students can work in small groups under proper supervision.
Special Education spaces are not large enough or designed for the needs of today’s students.
Added programming for preschool and state-funded, all-day kindergarten were not anticipated when our current facilities were constructed.
Enhancements are needed for our vocational and technical programs.
Lack of proper space for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education creates barriers to hands-on learning that is critical to student success.
Professional engineers assessed both buildings to determine whether they meet standards for education, safety, security, and building operations. In 18 categories defined by the Minnesota Department of Education as important for educational success, both buildings were below standards in more than half of the criteria.