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Community members present school board with top facility concerns

Community members present school board with top facility concerns

On May 23, members of the community’s Facilities Planning Team shared a list of facility projects with the school board and recommended they be included as part of a November bond referendum. View the recommendation.

The planning team - made up of parents, community members and district leaders - spent the spring reviewing enrollment projections and considering the district’s long-term facility needs. The list of recommended improvements would address growth in the district, as well as concerns with aging facilities. Recent projections show that the district’s K-12 enrollment will grow by more than 300 students in the next 5 years, and by nearly 1,000 in the next 10 years. With several buildings already at or near capacity, the planning team stressed to the school board a sense of urgency to act on the recommendations.

The top priorities identified in the recommendation include:

  • Replacing Lake Elmo Elementary within the city of Lake Elmo
    • Co-locate Lake Elmo and Amigos Unidos in a single 1,000+ student campus
  • Replacing Andersen Elementary, preferably in Bayport
    • Construct a new 600 student school on a campus with appropriate green space, fields and parking. (The new school would help address anticipated enrollment increases at both Andersen and Afton-Lakeland elementary schools.) 
  • Adding on to and remodel Oak-Land Middle School to accommodate up to 300 additional students
  • Improving safety and security at Stillwater Area High School
  • Improving safety and security at schools district-wide

Recognizing that the community may not have the appetite to pay for all of the facility needs at once, they also outlined a series of projects as part of a Long-Range Facilities Plan. The hope is the district might be able to begin addressing these projects with alternative funding sources or a future bond. These include:

  • Building an Early Childhood Learning Center in the southern part of the district 
  • Creating more equitable learning spaces districtwide, including the addition of full-sized gymnasiums at all elementary schools and the addition of more flexible learning spaces and natural light to older buildings.
  • Providing new shared student and community spaces at the high school (ie. auditorium)
  • Providing additional and updated cameras for each school 

A community survey will be conducted in June to test the level of support for each of the projects and determine how much new funding taxpayers may be willing to provide as part of a bond referendum. The survey results will be presented to the school board on June 22. The board is expected to vote on a possible November bond referendum at the June 27 board meeting.

Watch the May 23 board presentation | View the plan

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