School Board prepares way for upcoming bond election

It takes a lot of groundwork before a bond election can be handed to the public for a vote. Tuesday night the Minneota School Board spent two hours whittling down the options to create what Supt. Dan Deitte called, “Our desperate needs that will only get worse,” if they are not addressed.

On May 16, the board will hold its regular meeting and is expected to set a date for the bond election and the amount they will be asking voters to approve.

The board is talking about a potential August 22 date for the election. A figure has not been nailed down but the board expects it to be in the range of $5 million. The only action they officially made Tuesday was approval to submit a, “Review and Comment to the Minnesota Department of Education”.

They authorized Joe Henn of CTS Group to submit the review. It’s a preliminary action necessary before sending a bond election to the public.

Henn worked with the last school renovation project and has been creating options for the board to study as they trim the potential proposal. The project itself is centered basically on the elementary school and the school’s varsity locker rooms. “These are absolute needs,” said Supt. Deitte. He indicated the school renovation projects accomplished in the past two years did NOT include any work on the elementary school.

“We’ve done nothing to the elementary,” he said, indicating most of the elementary school is very, very old. “When we did the entrance (to the school) and safety issues, we did not touch the elementary at all,” the superintendent added.

Elementary bathrooms, flooring, windows and pairing down a two-air handling system to one HVAC system will also be included in the bond issue. The locker rooms are not great places and the board hopes to create a boys, girls and visitor locker rooms. Currently, visitors are forced to move from one locker room to the other. “It’s not a good situation,” said Deitte.

The “New Gym,” will also get new acoustics. “It’s a good plan. Our job will be to get the word out.There are NOT a lot of extras — just the bare minimum needs,” said Supt. Deitte.

Byron Higgin

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