School Board Discussions and Decisions About Facility Needs

School Board Discussions and Decisions About Facility Needs

Hello Community Members, Parents and Guardians,

I want to update you on the recent School Board meetings, discussions and decisions that have been made in regards to facility improvements.

At the November 14th Public Meeting, i was very pleased that an estimated 150+ people attended.  At this meeting, I first provided an overview of the facility needs assessments that were done prior to the August 8th referendum, and updates on discussions that have happened since.  Here is the  presentation that I shared. 

 We had 20 people choose to speak to the School Board/me and the audience.  The  comments were diverse and at times very emotional- including but not limited to encouraging the Board to make any repairs they can in the existing buildings; to consolidate with Wrenshall; to build a new school with Wrenshall on a 'neutral' site;  to not assume that people who voted 'no' in August don't care about kids or education;  to have another referendum for a PK-12 at South Terrace and more.  One community member distributed a short survey.  Some community members have  established a Facebook Page called Carlton County for Common Ground and their survey results can be found there.  

The School Board then met on November 16th to discuss the Public Meeting and the feedback/input it had received and options for facility improvements.  There was also a specific agenda item to discuss how to respond to the Wrenshall School Board as immediately prior to the November 14th meeting, the Wrenshall Board Chair gave our Carlton Board Chair a copy of a consolidation resolution  that the Wrenshall Board had passed in January 2017.  This is the first time it was officially given to the Carlton Board so that they could respond.   The November 16th meeting  was a Committee of the Whole meeting, and so no official action could be taken.  

The School Board had a regular meeting on Monday, November 20th.  In regards to facility improvements, two agenda items were approved 5-1.  One item was to publish public notices that the Board will have a public hearing about abatement bonding on December 18th at 7pm, and the second item was to hire InGensa as the District's Project Manager for these Summer 2018  projects (refer to the Power point):

1.  Parking lot and sidewalk improvements at both the High School and South Terrace.  (These would be financed through the sale of specific bonds called 'Abatement Bonds'.  These require a public hearing prior to Board approval.)

2.  Health and Safety projects  for South Terrace.  These would essentially be a new boiler plant (current boiler is original to the building) and fire suppression (sprinklers- the building currently has none).  These projects would then necessitate new ceiling light fixtures, possibly some hallway painting and electrical improvements.  

Further resolutions to proceed with these Summer 2018 projects will be voted on at the December 18th Board meeting.  The tax impact of these projects is here.  I also anticipate that the Carlton Board will continue to discuss how to respond to Wrenshall's consolidation resolution on December 11th (COW meeting) and possibly December 18th (could take action/vote).  

It is well understood that the needs in the high school building are much more complex and that it is in greater need of repair than South Terrace.   Therefore, we simply need more time to plan and make decisions about what repairs we should do at the HS with the funding that is available. Also, it would be difficult to have such complex projects happening in both buildings at the same time, so by working on South Terrace in 2018, we can potentially do significant work in the high school in the summer of 2019.  It is also important to understand that the work being proposed to be done at South Terrace in the Summer of 2018 is work that would be needed even if a building expansion would ever happen at South Terrace.

Please let me know any questions, concerns or suggestions!

Superintendent Gwen Carman