Why now?

Why Now?

In our facilities maintenance plan, we've been tracking the age of things that require long-term maintenance. Roofs, for example, require replacement after about 20 years and are expensive to replace. So we conducted a facilities evaluation process, assisted by a 60-member community task force. They identified the highest priority needs and investments to improve the learning environment and help students be better prepared for the workforce, in addition to simply maintaining what we already have.

Facility deficiencies aren’t just going to go away
– The middle and high school buildings are approaching that critical time where roofs, flooring, ceiling tile, lighting, and restrooms are old and past their life expectancy. Parking lots and athletic fields need major maintenance work and stadium bleachers are not ADA compliant. The CRES bus loop is a safety issue and there isn’t enough parking for events.

Kids are impacted daily
– Our elementary students are disrupted by noise from the 1980s open classroom design. Spaces in the performance and library areas are not conducive to group collaboration and project work, a staple method of learning in the 21st century.

Competition from neighboring districts is real
– We are losing enrollment to Brainerd, Aitkin, and Pequot Lakes; we cannot afford to keep losing students – each student brings in approximately $6,500 to our district. Our staff is great, but it is hard to compete when our career and technical education classrooms have outdated equipment, ventilation, plumbing, lighting and electrical systems.

Technology changes rapidly
– Equipment, educational software, and infrastructure require consistent upgrades to stay current. When these things are paid for from the general fund, it takes funds away from teachers and educational supports.

CITax Comparison Chart

Established District Priorities:

Facility Maintenance - take care of the assets that we already have.
Maximize Space Utilization - changing academic needs/offerings have left spaces underutilized.
Modernize Learning Environments - inspire educators and students preparing for today's modern work force.
Outdoor Space Improvements - includes maintenance, public access, and safety.

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