School District shows building inconsistency
There seems to be a strand of inconsistency in the school district leadership regarding buildings. On the one hand the board votes to raze South Elementary and on the other hand looks for space to rent from the city. It is totally permissible to take another look at keeping South Elementary for future needs. This approach would be the more conservative, which appeals to many voters. Politicians or representatives of others at all levels who change their opinion after gathering more information are admired not maligned.
We tax payers thought renting portables for years and years was poor stewardship. To rent from the city is a step backward. Why not be the landlord and not the tenant? And what happens in a natural disaster, what is your back up for a facility to meet in?
Several purposes for the use of South Elementary could be considerd. The use of the gym for board meetings when the crowd is large. The idea of pre-K education within school districts will surface again at the state legislature. Where will you put them? Would Anoka/Ramsey offer LPN classes with practicals at Fairview Hospital? The high school theater department needs room for set construction, prop and costume storage. How about CAD/CAM training for industrial park businesses? Eventually some will leave high school at 16 for more hands on training. Why not 3-D printing right here?
Move the district offices out of the old hospital and rent it out to Centra Care for in house hospice, rehab with O.T., P.T. Speech therapy and music therapy, or emergency pediatric mental health. Consolidating the school district onto just two locations would improve efficiencies and communication.
Let us pause before destroying South Elementary, so we aren’t wringing our hands five years from now. Remember how long the old middle school stood empty before Jeff stepped up with the buck and turned it into a community asset. It is honorable to change one’s opinion when in the benefit of others.
Jane E. Odgers