Planning a new schoolAlexandria School District 206 is in a listening and preliminary planning mode.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Alexandria School District 206 is in a listening and preliminary planning mode.
Members of the school board, along with administrators, are ready to listen to residents about their ideas and concerns for the proposed new high school.
District 206 Superintendent Terry Quist said that activities are being planned for later this month and into November for residents to become involved in the planning process.
The process is in place to help provide the school board with a conceptual design and estimated costs for the proposed new high school, noted Quist.
A community design workshop is in the works for November 16-18 with a presentation/public forum set for November 18 at 7 p.m. at Jefferson High School.
A group with representatives from the school district and the community has been formed and will be working with administrators during the planning process. The group, which includes nearly 100 people, will take part in the November workshop, said Quist.
The group will take a look at programming, sustainability, performing arts, activities and community partnerships.
Quist said the group will come up with a conceptual design and 3-D model of what the proposed new high school could look like before the public forum in November.
Then, beginning next year, in January, February and March, the district will be seeking more feedback from the community.
Quist noted that the process will be much like it was prior to the building of Woodland Elementary School.
He said there would be several community meetings for residents to voice their concerns and ideas. In addition, if there are groups or organizations that want to have school representatives come and give a presentation, they just have to call the school district to set it up.
Sometime in either April or May of next year, Quist said the school board will determine when a referendum will be brought to the voters in School District 206.
The earliest date he could foresee at this time is September of 2011.
Quist also mentioned that the agreement reached with the architects and construction management firms wouldn’t go into effect until after a referendum is passed. The district needed to have these groups on board at this time to help with the conceptual drawing, preliminary planning and estimated costs of construction.
“Right now, we really want to focus on listening to the public and gathering information,” he said.
If residents of the district have questions or concerns, Quist encourages them to contact him at the district office at (320) 762-2141 or see www.alexandria.k12.mn.us.
Here are five facts every district resident should know about the proposed high school project:
1. Land for a future high school site and site improvements were paid for out of the proceeds of the successful Phase I referendum, approved by voters in September 2007.
2. In 2007, the board approved a two-phase plan with a commitment to bring Phase II back to the community in three to five years (2010-2012).
3. Phase II addresses critical needs at Jefferson High School by proposing a referendum for a new high school that will require voter approval. No date for a vote has been set.
4. The District 206 School Board is committed to careful planning to keep the Phase II cost and future tax impact as reasonable as possible.
5. The new high school will be designed with community input.