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Verndale school talks building plan

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education Wadena, 56482
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Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

Verndale's School Construction Task Force is finding that it is one thing to plan for new building and another to make it fly.

A community-driven effort led by building contractor R.A. Morton has put three different plans on the table, ranging from an estimated $3.6 million plan to one another plan estimated a $5.7 million.

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"As of last meeting it sounds as if the task force is pretty close on being down to two concepts," Board Member Jeremy Schwartz said at Tuesday night's school board meeting. "A theme that has resonated through the whole task force, due to some feedback from a variety of the stakeholders in the district, is if the district is willing to go after investing in multi-purpose gym space there should be two full stations (gym floors)."

Superintedent Paul Brownlow told the board the task force has looked at 15 different options.

"I think the main difference between the 5.7 and the 3.6 is maybe a little more storage space," Schwartz said.

The more expensive of the two options would also see the school's cafeteria and a kitchen moved over to the new addition.

Schwartz said the mechanical portion of the project has not changed. The $375,000 of mechanical upgrades would give the school a hot water boiler capable of heating the entire building.

The board approved a June 4 meeting in the school's media center. It is hoped that the 6:30 p.m. meeting will include a recommendation from the task force on the actual project, the language on the ballot and a date for the vote.

The preliminary date for a vote on the building bond issue is Aug. 14.

Brownlow said there is still a considerable difference of opinion on the proposal.

"It's still up in the air," Brownlow said. "Some people see it as a necessity and others people would like some tax relief."

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Brian Hansel
(218) 631-2561
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