Our current facility challenges are significant. The oldest part of our school building was built in 1915 – before World War I. That’s over 105 years ago. With the average age of all sections of our school coming in at 76 years, we are well beyond the 40.91-year state average according to the Minnesota Department of Education. The age of our building is important because its inefficient design limits not only instruction, accessibility, and security, but also our ability to attract and retain students and employees.
The Needs are GreatAccessibility Challenges
Our school does not meet Americans with Disability Act (ADA) codes. There is no elevator so disabled students and visitors have limited access.
Safety and Security Deficiencies
There are too many unsecured areas. No automated lockdown notification system exists in the event of a school crisis and there are far too many unsecured access points.
Our building is old and requires significant investments.
Major infrastructure deficiencies exist with windows, electrical, the building envelope, mechanical, plumbing, and interior finishes. The building would require extensive updates to prevent further deterioration and meet current building codes.
Our building was not designed to deliver education for the way kids learn today.
Inadequate space or lack of usable space is a challenge that impacts our children’s learning. A detailed list is available here.
The Time is RightThe Ag2School credit for farmers increased this year. When first enacted, this law gave farmers a 40% tax credit. This year it is 50% and it will be 70% by 2023. This is permanent law.
Local taxpayers would pay only 42% of the project. The state of Minnesota will pay approximately 58% of the cost of the project. This is because the state pays for the share that would have been paid for by property taxes on agricultural property that is avoided due to the farm tax credit.
The proposed decrease in our operating levy significantly reduces the tax impact of this new school building.
The district is debt-free AND interest rates are favorable.
Our needs will not go away while the cost of construction is ever increasing.
Operational and maintenance costs will only continue to go up for an aging building.