Locker Rooms need attention!
I have been a resident of Minneota for over twenty years now and am proud to be part of this community and this School District. I am equally proud to have chosen Minneota as the place to raise my children and feel that our school district is an excellent choice for giving them the opportunity for a great education and overall school experience. Over the years, we have been very fortunate to have been represented well by our students both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
I believe our community has benefited greatly from this positive recognition and it is time to return the favor and invest in our students and athletes. Some areas of our school are extremely dated and are in desperate need of important upgrades.
Some of these upgrades may seem simply cosmetic, however they are of great importance to the school, including the safety of the kids and overall function of the services that we are trying to provide for the future.
There are areas that have not been touched since the original building of the school.
I truly believe that the upgrades to the elementary area of the school speak for themselves, but that is not the primary focus of my writing. A large part of the project will involve the reconstruction of our basement and the locker rooms.
For a school that takes great pride in its athletic programs, this area does not reflect our programs or school in a positive manner. They are actually an embarrassment when we are trying to provide services to students/athletes from other schools.
This area is dated, smells unpleasant, and currently is not allowing us to provide for the maximum experience for all individuals that utilize it. There are not enough lockers to serve all of the students, and the storage needed for our athletic programs is lacking.
Since my arrival to the school district, there have been minimal changes to the locker rooms. Additionally, the changes have not been adequate to remedy the problems that we are experiencing. In my first year of teaching, some upgrades were made to the showers in both locker rooms, but those changes are already showing age and tiles are starting to crumble from the wall.
Those changes were merely cosmetic and did not address underlining issues. Plumbing problems exist in the basement in addition to other areas of the school.
On a daily basis, both locker rooms smell like sewer. It is not only distracting for our students, but it is a poor reflection on our school when other people use these rooms. It is a smell that no one should have to experience and has become enough of a problem that some of the students refuse to use the locker room bathrooms. The plans for the new bathrooms and showers provide much needed improvements in the plumbing, as well as an improvement in design of the showers to provide for more security and privacy for the individuals using them.
This may truly help some students feel more comfortable using the showers in PE class, which is important for each student’s personal hygiene. Currently, there are not enough lockers to provide services for all of the students and athletes.
Our policy has always been to provide lockers for those individuals in athletics first, and then fill in with those that are needed for physical education class.
In the boys’ locker room, there are not enough lockers to provide for all of the football players and the students in PE class.
For years, I have had to either put two students to a locker or make students responsible to bring a daily bag to be able to change and dress. This is not an ideal situation and forces students to bring extra bags to school which takes up valuable space in their school lockers.
The current lockers are poorly designed and are easily broken into. Some of them have been damaged enough that they are no longer usable and are unable to lock. This has led to issues of theft over the years.
The new design of lockers would provide for more lockers to be used and also better security for the personal belongings in the lockers. The new design would also address the issue of storage for extracurricular activities.
As a school, we continue to strive to provide more activities for our students to be involved in. With more activities comes the need for more space for sufficient storage, and that is something our school is seriously lacking right now.
The new floor plan allows us to better utilize the space in the basement to not only create more lockers for students but provide better storage areas as well.
I understand that it is easy for me to say that I think everyone should vote in favor for the improvements to our school district.
I have a lot invested in the school being both an employee and a parent of children attending this school. Some of these improvements affect me directly as a teacher and a coach, but more importantly, the improvements that do not directly affect me impact the overall quality of education and safety of our students.
It is never easy to ask people for more money, however I think we should all look at this as an investment in our community and not just our school. I believe strong schools create strong communities. This is an investment we all can make.
As a reminder, absentee ballots for the August 22 special election are available in the Minneota Public School District Office now until election day. Also, informational sessions will be held Thursday, July 13 and Monday, August 14 in the Choir room at the Minneota Public School at 7 p.m.
Please join us to see first-hand all the projects included in the election along with an opportunity to ask questions.