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School board outlines plan for secondary school space

School board outlines plan for secondary school space

The Hudson Board of Education approved a plan that will hopefully result in a plan for a long-term solution to the district's secondary space shortage sometime early next year.

The tight timetable began with Tuesday night's meeting. The action plan includes posting the criteria and planning process on the district's website. Those criteria include enrollment projections over the next 10 years, anticipating grade levels of 500, adhering to class size guidelines, support for academic and co-curricular programs, environmental sustainability and financial and facility considerations the district can support. The plan also calls for a "significant community engagement" before any final decision is made by the board.

The process and timetable include:

--suggestions for potential solutions from staff, parents and community via the district website with results reported and narrowed at Dec. 11 board meeting.

--research by district administration on potential solutions including site analysis beginning on Dec. 12.

--search for architectural services for pre-referendum support by district administration with recommendation to hire by Jan. 8 board meeting.

--Two large scale community discussion opportunities, Nov. 29 and Dec. 6.

--Report to the school board on potential solutions by the Feb. 12 board meeting.

Community advisory committee

Board president Tom Holland said the process will also include input from a "community advisory committee," that will consist of 12 members including Paul Bourget and Paul Moen. Superintendent Mary Bowen-Eggebraaten and Holland will act as advisors to the committee. The application to be part of the committee will be posted on the district's website beginning Nov. 26 with the deadline for applications being Dec. 14.

Members of the committee will be selected by Bourget, Moen, Holland and two other board members. The committee review potential solutions and feedback from the community and provide its analysis to the school board. Their first meeting is expected in early January.

The process was approved by the board by a vote of 6-1. Board member Mark Kaisersatt dissented. "this would be a great plan if we had a failed referendum. The community's desire has already been made clear....I can take no for an answer but the answer was yes. I see this as a waste of time."

Board member Sandy Gehrke liked the plan and saw it as an opportunity to "bring a deeply divided community back together" by providing the public with an opportunity to weigh in on a new solution.

More details of the meeting will appear in the Nov. 22 issue of the Star-Observer.

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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