District 88 may consider high school addition

NEW ULM – During its regular meeting Thursday, the District 88 School Board will consider a 10-year plan for facilities that calls for board approval of a bond issue for a high school addition.

Board approval, which would happen in 2013-14, would include: preparation for sale of the District Administrative Center (DAC), athletic field development as a contest site, and space planning for gymnastics. It would also involve exploring plans for the redesign of existing shop space to be converted into an engineering and technology center.

The plan would entail the following, also during the upcoming year:

* development of a communications plan for the bond;

* establishment of a task force of staff, community members, parents and students;

* soliciting input from community, parents, students and staff on needs and design;

* commissioning an engineering/architectural draft of building addition plans;

* preparing/submitting necessary paperwork to the Minnesota Department of Education for a building addition;

* developing a financing plan for the proposed addition;

* abandoning the DAC as office space; and

* sale of the DAC.

Contingent upon the plan’s approval, a bond referendum would be conducted in the fall of 2014, with a possible construction start in the spring of 2015. During 2014-15, the district would also develop a plan for the relocation of grade levels from one building to another.

“The facilities committee has been working on a decade plan for the district facilities for the past year,” says Superintendent Jeff Bertrang in introductory remarks. “Over the course of the past few months, the plan has more definition and sequencing of activities. We have met with outside agencies and architects on the way ahead, and we have met with groups interested in the DAC property.

“After the plan is reviewed, the committee would like feedback, recommendations and possibly concurrence of the plan. Approval of the plan would mean we move forward to initiate the next steps of the plan.”

During its meeting, the board will also consider the hire of a new technology director, who will replace relocating Eric Simmons, and other staff, depository and line-of-credit-related resolutions, and several other matters.

The board meets at 7 p.m. at the DAC.

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