New school adds to sprawl

To the editor:

New Ulm Public Schools wants to promote sprawl by building a high school on the rural fringe of town? That’s unfortunate, and New Ulm is better than that.

Investing $46.9 million in your schools may be a good idea if done the right way, but the plan to build an isolated high school is wrongheaded. My wife and I currently live in Minneapolis, but New Ulm is on the short list of towns where we’d like to move someday. But we won’t choose New Ulm if it means our future children would need to take a bus from a walkable in-town neighborhood to a school on the rural fringe.

Such a school location would lead to more infrastructure cost in the future as you replace walking, biking, and short car trips with more, longer car trips. Schools will pay a higher percentage of their revenue on busing rather than teaching. Most importantly, younger generations don’t want to be forced to drive everywhere, which is the burden this type of land use would cement into place for generations to come.

New Ulm has a bright future because it’s a great walkable place with character and strong community. It is poised to reap the benefits as people increasingly seek out these types of quality places. Don’t sacrifice that now.

Matt Steele

Minneapolis

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