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Click on the links below to refresh your memory or learn how the Cloquet bond referendum vote set for Tuesday, Feb. 10 at the Armory in Cloquet unfolded. New stories...
It’s been almost two years since the Cloquet School Board began a serious public discussion about building a new middle school at a March 2013 meeting when members voted to hire a consulting firm to do a detailed assessment of district facilities.That study came back three months later with an estimated repair/maintenance bill of nearly $16 million districtwide, with the bulk of the problems ($14 million) at Cloquet Middle School. Since then the Board and members of the public have debated repair versus building new, how and what and where to build, and how much new debt residents might tolerate from the district. Now Cloquet voters will vote on two separate bond referendum questions Tuesday at the Cloquet Armory.
Some of the following questions and answers came from a community forum in January where Superintendent Ken Scarbrough and Cloquet Middle School Principal Tom Brenner spoke, while others are summarized from information provided voters by the Cloquet School District and previous Pine Journal articles.
By the latest calculations, the Cloquet School District is in debt to the tune of $21 million, according to Cloquet School District Finance Manager Kim Josephson, who compares the district’s debt to a homeowner paying off a mortgage.
Former school board candidate Richard Colsen grilled Cloquet School Board members and administrators for close to 15 minutes at Monday’s meeting, on everything from whether all of the photos on district literature were taken at the middle school (some weren’t), to variations in open enrollment numbers (it’s complicated) to the existence of a long-range facilities and maintenance plan for the district.
Last year, the Foundation was able to provide 20 students with scholarship funds as a result of funds raised through Food for Thought.
To answer the question of why the Cloquet Middle School is in need of more than $14 million in repairs and upgrades — part of the reason the district is asking voters to approve a referendum Feb. 10 to build a new middle school and improve other schools — one first has to look at the way school districts are funded in Minnesota.
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls Nordic ski team grabbed first place in the Lake Superior Conference meet Friday.
Wonderful things can happen when people work together.
Thanks to the combined efforts of many different people who read the Pine Journal online and in their hands, we now have names to go with the faces of the first Cloquet Bantam hockey team.