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Task force: Maintenance first

After six months and 10 meetings the School Facility Task Force presented the final report to the School Board Monday night without coming to a clear consensus concerning any of the issues facing Red Wing Public Schools facilities except one — maintenance.

“We have to get the maintenance caught up,” said community member Joe Goggin, of the only concrete agreement of the group. “That’s critical.”

Aside from taking care of maintenance, no one plan of action came from the task force meetings.

“We didn’t come away with one single solution that does everything,” said Gary Benson, representative from Kraus Anderson, who facilitated the meetings and compiled the results. Included in the report, he added, there are a lot of facility components and options to consider.

Bethany Borgschatz, community member who participated in the meetings, said one of the major sticking points to moving forward was the inconsistency of opinion regarding grade configuration. She encouraged the School Board to “gain a pulse of the community” on grade configuration as they move forward with this process.

Red Wing Public Schools currently has two grade level centers in Sunnyside and Burnside Elementary schools. Sunnyside Elementary serves kindergarten through second grade and Burnside Elementary serves students in second through fourth grades. Twin Bluff Middle School has students in grades 5 through 7 and the high school has students in grades 8 through 12. 

Chair Heidi Jones said she hopes this begins a new dialogue in the community and she was excited to offer this opportunity to interested community members.

Jones said she appreciates all the time, effort and energy that went into the meetings, and she was pleased with the way task force members handled themselves.

“I feel like they stepped up and did what we asked of them,” she said.

The board will review the report and discuss it at the Aug. 4 meeting. Board member Mark Ryan encouraged anyone with any concerns to attend the meeting.

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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