School shows ‘shady side’ at tour
Yes, taxes will go up on private property if a $5.25 million referendum passes in August. The increase will range from $36 to $40 more on homes in the $100,000 range.
But a “no” vote for improvements to the Minneota Elementary School and locker room areas could even more costly.
As School Board Member Jeff Buysse said, “There are a lot of areas that all need a little bit (of help).”
The first tour and information session on the proposal brought about 10 people to the school Tuesday night. It didn’t take them long to discover, “The flooring is over 60 years old, tile is cracking and we have many bad tiles that have had to be replaced,” said Supt. Dan Deitte. Unfortunately, many of the replacements were colors other than the original because, “We just couldn’t find replacements to match.” The building has 124,000 square feet and 65,000 square feet of tile — about half.
“Unfortunately, the state allows us to take out the tile with financial help but they don’t help you put it back in,” said the superintendent. The tour included bathrooms with very poor pipes, “That smell and pipes are inadequate,” said Supt. Deitte.
It includes rooms that need enlarging, courtyards that need to be used for expansion and some very poor locker rooms.
“The big challenges are the elementary bathrooms. They were built in the 1950s and they are bad news.”
Plumbing is not compliant and, “I think the sewer lines are breaking down,” said the superintendent. “It’s just old stuff. We’ve done everything we can with it,” he added. The locker rooms are small, inadequate and antiquated. The plan is to create a full girls’ locker room, one for boys and a visitors room — plus a referees shower area. “The plumbing is bad and falling apart,” added Deitte.
A lot of hallways are “dingy” and new LED lighting should solve many of the problems. Deitte said Minneota is in the “middle of the pack” of area schools when it comes to finances and he said, “We’re financially stable in our school district.”
More tours and sessions will follow.