Cloquet school facilities study needs public input
On Jan. 27, a school facilities meeting will be held at the Cloquet High School Cafeteria at 7:00 p.m. Cloquet school officials are asking for public input and advice to finalize a major study which has identified the repair, maintenance, space, and educational needs for the school district’s buildings. This will be the first of four public meetings, and each meeting will build upon the input received from the previous meetings.
The Cloquet School Board decided last spring to have a group of engineers and architects do a facilities study to identify the most pressing needs of our school buildings. This study identified over $13 million in needed repairs and maintenance at the Cloquet Middle School and additional maintenance, space, and program needs at the elementary schools, high school, and alternative school. The Facilities Steering Committee and architects drafted several alternative plans to address the identified facility needs, but these plans only are in draft form to serve as a starting point for public discussion and input. The School Board will use this input to adopt a final plan to take to the public for approval. This final plan will need to consider many things. A summary of some important topics to be discussed include the following:
1. Repair needs and costs at the middle school versus a new middle school.
2. Best location if we build a new middle school.
3. Discuss need for a school swimming pool and adequate community education and gym space.
4. Additional space needs and upgrades at all buildings – regular classrooms, specialist classrooms, eating facilities, storage, upgrading worn or inadequate areas, and the like.
5. Security needs – safe and efficient drop-off and pick-up of students, secure facilities, cameras, safe parking, safe play areas, and the like.
6. Identify needs for disabled access.
7. If a new middle school is built, what should be done with the current middle school?
8. If a new middle school is built, should 5th graders be located in a separate wing at that school to open up more space at the elementary schools?
9. What is the cost of the various construction and maintenance/repair options, and what will the public be willing and able to support for these options.
10. Suggestions and help to build public awareness about the District’s facilities needs and obtain public input – media, mailings, surveys, and ways to connect with our community members.
The District values and needs public input and support during this planning process, so three additional meetings have been scheduled. These meeting dates are all on Mondays -- February 10, March 3, and March 31.