All District 196 stakeholders were invited to attend meetings Nov. 15, 16 and 17 to get information about facilities, equipment and space needs in District 196, and provide feedback on possible improvements being considered to meet those needs in the state’s fourth largest school district. If you were unable to attend one of these meetings review the informational links below and provide your feedback by December 7.
The District Dialogues on Facilities are scheduled as follows:
- Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6-8 p.m., at Eastview High School;
- Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6-8 p.m., at Rosemount High School, and
- Thursday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m., at Eagan High School.
The format and content will be the same for all three meetings. Each meeting will begin with a large group presentation, followed by an opportunity to ask clarifying questions. Then the group will break into smaller groups for facilitated discussions to provide feedback on possible facilities improvements being considered by the district. Stakeholder groups include students, parents/guardians, staff, district residents with no current students, and members of the business community.
People planning to attend are asked to pre-register online at District196.org to select their meeting and identify which stakeholder group(s) they represent. District stakeholders are also welcome to show up at any of the meetings without pre-registering. Spanish and Somali interpreter services will be available at all three meetings. For more information about the District Dialogues on Facilities, call District 196 Communications at 651-423-7775.
It has been nearly 10 years since District 196 conducted its last comprehensive review of facilities, equipment and space needs. That multi-faceted review started in 2013 and led to an approved bond referendum question in 2015 that provided funding to make significant safety and security improvements at schools across the district, provided some additional space that has been filled by subsequent enrollment growth, and supported startup of providing one-to-one access to technology for learning.
The current review of district facilities, equipment and space needs began in June 2021 with establishment of the Facilities and Equipment Steering Committee, led by Director of Finance and Operations Mark Stotts. The committee met 20 times over the last year and a half, completing a comprehensive review of current and projected facilities and equipment needs over the next 10 years based on enrollment projections and other considerations.
The committee’s recommendations to district administration will be presented as preliminary recommendations at the Nov. 14 regular School Board meeting. They address needs in the areas of: 1) planning for projected enrollment growth; 2) providing a more consistent experience for students and families across the district, and 3) continuing to support the district’s core “triple-A” philosophy of academics, arts and athletics.
In the biggest of the three areas, planning for growth, the options considered include one or two new elementary schools to ease overcrowding and provide space for growth; a new Rosemount Middle School to replace the oldest school in the district and repurpose the existing building for non-student uses; finish upgrading Rosemount High School, which was started with the district’s last successful bond referendum in 2015, and a possible addition to Scott Highlands Middle School to ease overcrowding.
District administration will use input from the District Dialogues, along with results of a recent community survey, to guide its final recommendation to the School Board later this year. The board will then decide whether to move forward with a bond referendum election and, if so, what improvements to include in the question.
To complete any of the facilities improvements being considered would require funding from a bond referendum election called by the School Board and approved by a majority of district voters. Bond referendums seek funding for buildings and other capital projects, while levy referendum elections seek additional funding to support operations, which are mostly personnel costs. The last operating levy referendum in District 196 was in the November 2019 General Election, and it was approved by district voters.