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Building a case for improvements

A playground cutoff by a parking lot and limited space for vehicles are two issues at Colvill Family Center (Republican Eagle photo by John R. Russett)

With the potential for more than $20 million in deferred maintenance to Red Wing’s schools in the next 10 years, the district formed the Red Wing Public Schools Facility Task Force to discuss the future of its buildings.

The group of community members, faculty, staff and administration gathered Thursday night at Colvill Family Center for the third of at least six meetings planned. The first meeting was at Twin Bluff Middle School and the second was at Burnside Elementary.

According to a report by Kraus-Anderson Construction Co., the school district has over $11 million in deferred maintenance costs that ideally should be addressed in the next three years.

Twin Bluff Middle School is projected to need over $5 million, the highest number for any building, according to the report. Jefferson needs $1.7 million, Sunnyside requires approximately $1.6 million and the high school $1.25 million in the next three years in deferred maintenance, the report states.

Colvill Family Center Director Min MartinOakes said close to 150 children pass through Colvill on a daily basis and, while the classroom space is well utilized, there are issues that need to be addressed.

Colvill was renovated and re-opened in 1995 and, according to Kraus-Anderson, needs almost $500,000 in maintenance that needs to be done within three years.

“When we moved into this building it was very exciting,” MartinOakes said.

MartinOakes said 31 staff members work at Colvill and the parking lot has 38 spaces, making drop-off and pick-up times a bit challenging.

Another issue is the lack of outdoor space and the inability to expand. The playground, which is a city park, is across the parking lot and provides the only space for children to get outside.

Supt. Karsten Anderson said putting money toward early childhood education is a wise investment.

“We used to believe (investment in early childhood education) pays off, now we know it pays off,” MartinOakes said.

Anderson said the task force wasn’t put together to be satisfied with the status quo and he encouraged everyone to dream and stretch their thoughts as to what could benefit the district moving forward.

The Prairie Island Ice Arena building’s deferred maintenance projected in the next three years totals approximately $500,000 and Burnside Elementary is listed at approximately $300,000, according to the report.

The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Sunnyside Elementary, with an optional tour at 6 p.m.

John R. Russett

John Russett is a regional reporter for RiverTown Multimedia, covering a variety of issues facing RiverTown communities. Previously, he worked at the Red Wing Republican Eagle, where he reported on education as well as crime and courts. 

You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnRyanRussett


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