The Kingsland School Board of Directors convened this past Monday, Oct. 7, for a short meeting to establish a facilities committee to bring forward a recommendation for improvements to the district's buildings, as architects at TSP, the firm hired by the district, have given the district options from which to choose in order to realign facility usage for more efficient educational instruction.

All members of the Kingsland School Board were present, but Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald was unable to attend due to being previously engaged at a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) convention in St. Cloud. McDonald telecommuted to the meeting via a webcam.

The district has been perusing various ideas, ultimately considering three options - the third of which has been subdivided into three additional options. The first is to make repairs at the middle school building in Wykoff, which could be done through the use of capital facilities bonds or alternative facilities bonds, without a vote of the district's patrons, at a cost of $116,427 of operating capital funds for 10 years. The capital facilities bonds would be a tax-neutral choice, but the alternative facilities bonds would impact taxes on a $100,000 homesteaded residential property at $85.74 per year.

The second is to make repairs at both sites, including some educational improvements, using voter-approved building funds and alternative facilities bonds at a cost of $6,066,782, with a tax implication of $64.60 on voter-approved bonds, and $85.74 in alternative facilities bonds, for a total of $150.34 per year on a $100,000 home.

The first of the third option's subdivided options, 3A, would place a single campus at Spring Valley, offering educational improvements plus the construction of a field house, new locker rooms and a walking track for $12,820,731 over 20 years, with an impact of $114.64.

Option 3B would place a single campus in Spring Valley, including educational improvements, a field house, locker rooms, a walking track and a new auditorium at a cost of $16,941,679 over 20 years with an impact of $151.95.

The third, 3C, would create a single campus at Spring Valley, including educational improvements, a field house, new locker rooms, walking track, auditorium and bus garage for $17,264,687 over 20 years, with an impact of $154.53.

Board chairman Doug Plaehn noted that the purpose of Monday's meeting was to "form a facilities committee to review the facility plan options and bring it forward to the Oct. 21 regular school board meeting." He outlined that the committee would likely "consist of three school board members, two staff, the superintendent, principals, the grounds and maintenance director and the activities director."

McDonald cited that the principals would look at the facility plans for all sites. "At the last study session, there were things they liked, but there were also things they had questions about. They'll make a list of things they had additional questions about, and the principals will work to get the information to Troy Miller (of TSP) yet this week."

Board member Gwen Howard questioned why the facilities committee would include only two staff members when there are three distinct schools within the district.

The board and McDonald responded by noting that the committee could include another staff member so in the end, it would be comprised of the administration, three school board members, three staff members - one from each of the school buildings, activities director Tom Speltz and grounds and maintenance director Scott Stockdale.

Board members voted on who would be assigned to the committee, approving volunteers Howard, Plaehn and Deb Larson.

Dates chosen for the committee to meet were this Monday, Oct. 14, and, if necessary, this Wednesday, Oct. 16, to prepare a presentation for the regular board meeting on Monday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the high school conference room.

The public is welcome to attend all open meetings. For more information, contact the Kingsland district office at (507) 346-7276, or log onto the Kingsland website at www.kingsland.k12.mn.us.