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R-P approves new school consulting proposal

Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010
Posted in Education

The Rushford-Peterson school board voted Monday, October 18th, to approve a proposal from ICS Consulting, Inc., of Mounds View, to assist the district with the New School Initiative. The firm offers planning for all areas of project development and has completed several successful bond referendums for various school districts throughout the state.

The partnership has come about as the result of district-wide survey findings which were presented to the district on August 27th. The majority of responses received favored the continuance of the New School Initiative as opposed to proceeding with maintenance of rapidly aging facilities (82 percent). In that initiative, the district will actively pursue state funding for an estimated $29 million, K-12 facility. The district will be seeking 75 percent state funding with 25 percent ($7.25 million) being funded locally.

Should the district have been directed to maintain current facilities, it would be facing necessary remodeling costs of roughly $11-12 million. However, there would be no possible state funding available for maintenance as the Minnesota Department of Education does not support it.

The ICS proposal predicts approximately 244 work hours by the firm at a cost to the district of $30,500, not including an estimated $3,000 in administrative type fees from ICS. The project consists of four phases, each broken down by work hours and cost.

Phase one, planned for October to December of this year, includes both administrative and board meetings to discuss and approve goals and objectives, facility observation and documentation, and task force recruitment.

Phase two will be conducted January through March of 2011. It will be comprised of six separate task force meetings reviewing educational standards and needs, the development and prioritization of options, and concluded recommendations.

Phase three, April through May of 2011, will showcase a final report of recommendations and a presentation of the findings to the school board during the May meeting.

The final phase is expected to last from June through September of 2011. The shortest of the four-part project, it may likely garner the most attention as the board holds a work session, analyzes strategies and funding, and takes action on the project at its September board meeting.

While the board approved the ICS proposal unanimously, the need for community involvement was noted by several members.

The community is reminded of a public forum for the five candidates running for R-P school board: Incumbents Dan Munson and Greg Smith and challengers Angela Colbenson, Taylor Peterson, and Jonathan Pettit. The event will take place Monday, October 25th, at 6:30 p.m., in the R-P High School theater. The evening is hosted by Community Education.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, November 15th, at 6:30 p.m., at the R-P Middle School library. The public is encouraged to attend.

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