The Northfield School Board held a working session on Monday evening, where they began to assess the recommendations that were made on what to do with the Northfield High School building.
Built in 1966 and renovated in 1993 and again in 1997, the building, while considered fundamentally sound, lacks in several respects. Last spring, the school district convened a task force of about 30 people to review the issues, prioritize them, and make recommendations to the board.
Superintendent of Schools Dr Matt Hillmann said the task force had come up with a tiered recommendation to the board. The first tear is in the school’s infrastructure. The high school is notorious for its uneven temperatures from wing to wing, and sometimes even from class to class. The home section of the school is not very well insulated and the HVAC system may struggle to maintain comfort from one part of the school to the other. Correcting this situation is the first priority of the report.
The second level is, as Hillmann said, to improve the educational adequacy of schools. Areas like the science labs need upgrading, as does Wing V of the building that houses the technology and engineering department. The school must also become more flexible and adaptable in order to create larger and more common learning spaces. Hillmann said these spaces are becoming very popular and may well be the type of work environment students will have in the future.
The third level, Hillmann said, involves additions to the building to better accommodate athletics, and court sports in particular, as well as the music department.
In total, he said, implementing each recommendation would cost $87 million. Any money to fund the renovations would have to come from a voter-approved bond, which would mean putting a referendum on the November ballot.
Hillmann said the board, in its discussions last night, was leaning toward infrastructure being dealt with at a cost of $40 million. He said some would like to consider building an all-new building, but the board is hesitant about that option.
“Although we know that many people consider the building to be inconvenient in several respects. It’s obviously a very large facility. We understand that some people prefer to look ahead and say, “Let’s just do it again. But the board has made it clear that we understand the economic situation we’re talking about over the next two years, and what would be the most reasonable way to get the best facilities for our children, to be good stewards and to ensure the building operates efficiently.
No decision was made on Monday evening. The next board meeting is scheduled for July 11.e.
Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Northfield Schools Superintendent Dr Matt Hillmann can be heard here
Residents of Viking Terrace seek ‘unified voice’
Residents of Viking Terrace met last night and began the process of forming a homeowners association. With 69 of the 93 signatures needed, organizers were confident they would secure the remaining 24 over the next two days.
Since taking possession of Viking Terrace on April 6ethose who live there say the new management company, Lakeshore Properties, has imposed unnecessary, ill-defined, possibly illegal and, in some cases, demeaning rule changes.
Northfield Councilor George Zuccolotto, who resides in Viking Terrace, said the management company’s approach since joining has been adversarial, aggressive and condescending, and necessitated the creation of the Homeowner’s Association.
Among the many issues raised by park residents is communication with the park manager. Communication with this person was extremely difficult. Posted office hours are not always adhered to, and residents said they tried to visit the office only to find an empty office and a locked door.
The language barrier complicates the problem. Many Viking Terrace residents don’t speak Spanish, but there’s no Spanish-speaking employee on-site at the Lakeshore.
Mar Valdecontos, with Rice County Neighbors United, an advocacy group that works with park residents, said the management style is unacceptable and is one of the main reasons residents have chosen to leave. arrange.
“That’s not the way to build community, in fact it’s quite the opposite. They are just aggressive and [saying] “You’re going to do what I say, and then we’ll talk about it on a case-by-case basis. It does not mean anything. It probably works in other places, that they bully people into complying, but they came to the wrong community.
Zuccolotto said the new association will provide leadership that can work with Lakeshore to resolve issues and hopefully lead to better communication.
“The first goal is to have a conglomerate together as a unified voice against management so that we have the complaints filed through us, and then as a unified voice we can say ‘That’s wrong. And we can stand together.
Lakeshore Management declined to comment on the situation.
Lippert comments on Supreme Court decision
And Rep. Todd Lippert released a statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the
constitutional protection of the right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.
“Trusting women in their reproductive health decisions is fundamental to dignity and equality,” the statement said.
On Friday, the Supreme Court released its ruling on women’s health in Dobbs v. Jackson. In this decision, the court, by a vote of 6 to 3, found that the Constitution did not guarantee a woman’s right to abortion, primarily because when the right to privacy was codified in the Constitution, the Abortion was not a known activity.
“Because of Doe v. Gomez,” the statement continued, “abortion access is still permitted in Minnesota. However, we are already seeing extremists in the Republican leadership attempt to end reproductive freedom in the Minnesota We can’t let them succeed.
Lippert, the two-term representative for Minnesota House District 20b, is stepping down from his seat in the state legislature this fall and will instead focus on efforts to better connect the DFL party to rural areas across the state.
But as he remains a representative until the end of his term in December, he said his party is committed to protecting reproductive rights and will act to dismantle what he called ‘the power of extreme minority power’. “.
Rich Larson is KYMN’s News Director
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