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R-P continues working towards new elementary facility


By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Oct 5th, 2012
Posted in Rushford Village Education

At the September 17 board meeting, Dean Beeninga, of architectural firm ATS&R, and Gary Benson, of ICS Consulting, were on hand with updates on the proposed early childhood through grade 5 facility. A “Review and Comment,” required by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), was submitted by Benson earlier in the month. Superintendent Chuck Ehler was confident that it would be expedited by the MDE quickly, so the district may proceed with plans for a building referendum December 19.

Potential tax impact amounts have been calculated for the $15 million project at 20, 25, and 30-year variables and will be a key area of the campaign leading up to the referendum vote. A proposed floor plan, as well as the timeline for the scheduled referendum, was also presented.

The Facilities Committee, including board members Kathie Ingram, John Nitecki, and Dan Munson will meet Monday, October 8, at 5:00pm to discuss the project.

The district has long sought various funding for their New School Initiative, some of it out of the norm, including $7.5 million through a Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grant aimed at business development. Recently, the district received word it would not be given consideration for its DEED grant application. Still there’s always hope.

An interest in the school’s struggles by the Ellen DeGeneres Show has many in community crossing their fingers once again. Somehow the show received word of the district’s difficulty in securing funding for the project and both emails and local conversation about it has been a hot topic. Apparently, the show has historically helped other districts and many in the community are aiming to bring enough of the show’s attention to the initiative that they may also get support. They are encouraging people to log onto the show’s website, www.ellentv.com, and leave up to a 1,500-word comment about how the school might benefit the community.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, October 15, at 5:30pm, in the high school biology room. The public is encouraged to attend.

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