"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Monday, October 20th, 2014
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
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Guest commentary: Who has heard of Wells, Minn.?


Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Rushford Commentary

By Brett Kues

I have been told several times by several people, “Now is the time to build a new school because it will never be less expensive than it is if we build right now.” This seems to be the go to line for every person wanting a new school. The problem is they are wrong. However, before I go into why they are wrong, let me remind you this is the same mantra given two years ago. At that time they told us “now was the time and if we allowed the opportunity to pass it would be a mistake.” Déjà vu.

After hearing this repeatedly, I did some research, and after checking some facts, I am of the firm opinion that a new school not only could cost less, but should. In searching for data on in-state new school costs around MN I found a little town called Wells and district 2134. I also found a wealth of data from other states. Using the other states data, I was able to determine some pretty accurate averages for school size and cost. Using these averages and looking at what was built in Well’s, it is clear that a more accurate mantra by those blindly seeking to build a new school should be “IT WILL NEVER COST MORE”.

To back this up, I offer you the averages my research revealed. First, MN recommends square footage per student; it is less for an elementary, increasing for middle school and still more for high school students. The average recommended footage per student is 173 sq/ft, this includes cafeteria space and gymnasium space. If we use this square footage for every student in Rushford, we get 690 x 173 = 119,370 sq/ft. Remember this number. The other important average is the total cost per square foot. This cost includes site work, not just the cost of the building. As close as I could tell, the average total cost around the country, is around $200 per sq/ft. The last time there was real data, the cost was $191 in the 34th annual education construction report. Most schools built last year were below the $200 sq/ft threshold, but others drove it up. For example Virginia was $166.29. If we take the average square footage and multiply it by the cost per SQ/FT, (119,370 X $200) we get a new school cost of $23,874,00! Add approximately 7,500 square feet some unique extra’s that I am told are needed when you combine all grades into one school like a second gym and larger library and lunch facilities, or $1.5 million for these additional needs, and you get a new school sized for 690 students for $25.4 .....
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POET General Managers make their voices heard in Washington

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in Preston Commentary

SIOUX FALLS, SD (September 18, 2014) – Chris Hanson, General Manager of POET Biorefining – Preston, traveled to Washington, D.C. September 14-17 to meet with Congressional officials and highlighted the important role ethanol plays in reducing o ..... 
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The Bad Lie

Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

I was paging through one of my old issues in Smithsonian (because I’m a nerd, remember) and I came across a full-page advertisement that, well, struck me. Like a baseball bat upside the head, I found myself rendered speechless by what was laid out ..... 
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Guest Commentary: Global climate change

Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Commentary

By Dan Terbeest Recently a frequent contributor to this publication wrote a letter addressing several environmental issues, advocating drastic reductions in fossil fuel use to reduce carbon outputs. How many times have we heard the President say ..... 
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Mayhem in Missouri; Coming soon to a town near you?

By Jeff Erding

Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Posted in Wykoff Commentary

By Jeff Erding American interests and citizens both at home and abroad face dire consequences from the destructive policies of the radical left. For solid information about the situation, please read on and prepare to be shocked at how badly Govern ..... 
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The summer of our discontent

By Lee Hamilton

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Lee H. Hamilton Despite these last few months of hot and lazy days, it’s been hard not to notice a cold political wind blowing through the country. The magazine Foreign Affairs captured it with its latest cover, a mockup of a travel poster fea ..... 
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Keeping Houston County citizens informed and involved

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Justin Zmyewski, Commissioner District #2 SAND = JOBS ??? FACT: Wisconsin has been blindsided by the frac sand industry. They now have more mines than any other state in the country. The mines have led to a 0.001 percent job growth for the en ..... 
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AmeriCorps LEAP Celebration

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

By Tim Penny President/CEO Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation As students everywhere gear up to go back to school, so are 20 AmeriCorps LEAP members. These members work one-on-one in pre-school classrooms with children who are at-risk of fal ..... 
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A deterioration of trust and respect in America

Mon, Sep 8th, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

An environment of mutual trust and respect makes for good relationships of all kinds. Growing distrust of American institutions fuels dysfunction and disorder in society. Trust and respect are the glue that holds us together. They make our country ..... 
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