School board signs land sale contract
The Moose Lake School Board passed a motion to authorize board Chair Kris Lyons to sign the land sale contract, at a special meeting of the board on Thursday, February 7.
The contract will be reviewed and possibly signed at the Moose Lake City Council meeting on Wednesday, February 13, before the sale is completed.
Twenty-four acres of school district land along Highway 73 on the south end of town is being sold to a developer. The school board is selling the land to the city, and the city will, in turn, sell the land to the developer after placing covenants and conditions on it, along with zoning.
“Things are moving and improving,” said Lyons. “The town will see growth. This is a win-win situation for everybody.”
The board took another major step when it agreed, in a motion, to replace the school with a new PreK-12 school on the school district property along County Road 10. The motion also included that the project would not exceed $33 million.
Two of the school board members, Julie Peterson and Lisa Anderson-Reed, were not in attendance. The motions passed unanimously.
The board set the date for the referendum election for Tuesday, May 21.
The plans for the new school have been sent to the Minnesota Department of Education for a Review and Comment, a process that will take 60 days, said Gary Benson of ICS Consulting.
It is anticipated that the Review and Comment will be returned before April 13. A letter accompanying the Review and Comment must be published in the school district’s legal newspaper no less than 20 days before the election.
The school district is joining with the Rushford-Peterson School District with a request to the legislature to fund each of the school districts with $20 million in bonding due to both schools having to be replaced because of flooding.
It was noted that the legislative session ends May 10.
“The word will spread fast if the school districts get the bonding,” said Superintendent Robert Indihar.
Benson discussed with the board the process of hiring an architect.
Requests for Proposals will be sent to architectural firms. Once the proposals are received, ICS staff will review the proposals and choose the top three or four to interview.
The interview date was set for Thursday, February 28, starting at 6 p.m.
Benson discussed the informational campaign that the school board will conduct. A separate “Vote Yes” campaign will be conducted by community members.
A steering committee is needed. It was suggested that the steering committee consist of the superintendent, the principals, two board members, key teaching staff and a representative of the student council. The informational campaign is expected to take 10 to 12 weeks. Community informational meetings will be scattered throughout the school district.
The “Vote Yes” campaign will start later, and run for eight to 10 weeks.
Benson explained that the building will be designed only if the referendum is passed. The staff members will be contacted to provide input about the needs of each one’s department.
The $33 million will include a bus garage, refurbishing the baseball/softball fields and decommissioning and removal of the oldest parts of the current building.
The regularly scheduled meeting of the board was set for Monday, February 25, at 6 p.m.