Good turnout for community meetingThe Red Wing School District had a better-than-expected turnout for the first of three community meetings designed to gather input and gauge community support for building improvements or renovations.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing School District had a better-than-expected turnout for the first of three community meetings designed to gather input and gauge community support for building improvements or renovations.
Supt. Karsten Anderson said district officials expected about 20 people. Actual attendance doubled that number.
“We were very pleased with the turnout,” Anderson said.
The meeting, held in the Twin Bluff Middle School library Thursday evening, began with a presentation from Finance Director Brad Johnson, who explained some basics about school budgets and referendums.
The district’s current five-year operating referendum — which brings in about $4 million a year — is set to expire at the end of 2013.
Currently, the district is looking at putting a new operating referendum to public vote as early this November. If that happens, the district would more than likely also ask for a facilities bond to perform delayed maintenance on several of the district’s buildings.
For the last several weeks, Minneapolis-based engineering and architecture firm DLR Group has been inspecting all of the district’s buildings. They looked at not only the buildings’ physical states, but also how classes and educational services function within their spaces.
On Thursday, two DLR Group representatives presented information about those inspections. They also asked the group several questions about what they think should be done with the district’s buildings.
“They asked very general questions,” Anderson said.
The group’s answers were recorded using an electronic response system. Anderson said he couldn’t really get a feel for the overall thoughts of the group.
“It’s very difficult to gauge community support based on a volunteer meeting,” he said. Anderson added that DLR Group will use the feedback to develop options for the district to consider at a later date.
The second community meeting, which will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 24 in the Twin Bluff Middle School library, will ask less general questions, Anderson said.
“We’d love to have the same people come again, but others are encouraged to come as well,” he said.
“The more people there to hear information and give feedback, the better. We want to hear all perspectives.”
A third community meeting will be held this summer.