By Lois Johnson
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Board discusses possible $15 million referendum


The Barnum School Board discussed the possible $15 million 2014 referendum at the meeting of the board on Tuesday, September 17.

Superintendent Dave Bottem reported that an architect had met with him and High School Principal Brian Kazmierczak, and they walked through the high school building and discussed the needs, security issues, and the future of education.

The board has been discussing remodeling the high school and building an addition to accommodate larger class sizes coming from the elementary school in future years.

“The bones and structure of the school are very good,” said Supt. Bottem. “How can we change for the future? A lot of schools are creating break-out rooms. Those are things that I can see happening here.”

Supt. Bottem also spoke about 21st Century Learning in the use of technology.

“The big question is, how can we advance the media center?” he asked. “There will be more mobile devices used in the classroom. A network will be needed.”

Supt. Bottom spoke about security.

“We talked about school safety,” he said. “We could close down hallways and provide access for the community to certain areas, such as the fitness center.”

He also mentioned moving the sixth grade to the high school building to make more room in the elementary school for the ever-expanding number of students in the lower grades.

It was said that, if the board approved going forward with the project, a referendum election will be held in the fall of 2014.

In his first report to the board as principal, Kasmierczak stated, “We currently have the most students that we have ever had in this building. Our current count is 369, up from 342 last year. We have filled our reserve lockers and are tapping into our backups to our reserve lockers. Our classrooms are all busy, and I am starting to notice a struggle for space.”

In other business, the board approved the Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Performance, 2012-2013; and approved the 2013 Proposed Levy payable in 2014. The final levy will be adopted at the December 17 meeting of the board.

The next meeting of the Barnum School Board will be held on Tuesday, October 15. A discussion about the need for a new addition and remodeling of the high school will take place at 5:30 p.m., with the board meeting taking place at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to provide input.


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