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District 833 Announces Plan for Woodbury Elementary, Should it Acquire Crosswinds School

Students at Woodbury Elementary would be shifted to the Crosswinds building; Spanish immersion students would attend class at the elementary school.

Woodbury Elementary students would attend class at the Crosswinds Arts and Science School building next fall if District 833 is able to acquire the facility.

Students in the district’s Spanish immersion program, Nuevas Fronteras, would attend school at the Woodbury Elementary building.

South Washington County Schools on Wednesday posted a notice on its website about the plan.

However, Crosswinds Arts and Science School could be turned over to the Perpich Center for Arts Education if the Golden Valley-based group is able to secure funding from the Legislature by April 1. It could cost as much as $3 million for Perpich to operate the school.

District 833 has previously expressed interest in Crosswinds as a way to house a growing student population.

The district’s plan, if it does obtain Crosswinds at no cost, would also include the construction on a “connecting addition” to Woodbury Middle and Woodbury Elementary to increase capacity for the middle school.

Below is the notice in full, which can also be found on the South Washington County Schools website.

From District 833

District proposes plan for the use of Crosswinds Arts and Science School should the school become available

Since October, the district has known of the possibility to acquire a building through the East Metro Integration District (EMID). The EMID board has discussed recently they would no longer operate their two schools due to their desire to focus on programming. The school, currently Crosswinds Arts and Science School is located just within the boundary of District 833 and the Woodbury Elementary Attendance Boundary.

Conversations began immediately among district staff, other superintendents and the EMID board because two buildings (Crosswinds and Harambee) would be available to its member districts. In January, the EMID board granted the Roseville School District governance of Harambee, located within the boundaries of the Roseville District. The decision regarding Crosswinds was very different for a number of reasons. Roseville was willing to assume governance because the school attracts students and remains at capacity, and as a result is fiscally efficient. Harambee is located in a central location within the Roseville School district.

Unlike Roseville, District 833 was not willing to agree to run the program at Crosswinds as it is currently being run because it is operating at a deficit. The building was built for 600, with approximately 350 students attending. What the district expressed an interest in doing was to acquire a 140,000 square foot building at no cost to its constituents to aid in addressing its future growth requirements with the understanding that the district would incur annual operating costs if it acquired the building. The building is owned by the State, and assuming governance allows the district or other entity to benefit from a fairly new building without incurring acquisition costs for our taxpayers.

As the administration began considering whether the building would benefit the district, a team of district staff and parents from various schools and programs began to meet and consider proposals. The proposal meeting most of the district’s current needs continually rose to the top and is being considered. The intent of the district was to ensure key stakeholders were aware and understood the merits of the proposal and were provided an opportunity for feedback about the plans. Thus, meetings were held with staff members and parent meetings were scheduled at buildings affected by the proposal.

While the parent meetings are scheduled to occur shortly, the district believes it is necessary to provide a snapshot of the proposal through this venue to counteract misinformation that has been distributed to the community. We encourage parents of the schools affected to attend the meetings and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the detail and reasons for the proposed use of Crosswinds. The intent of the meetings is to hear feedback from parents involved.

Solving District Needs

When determining whether to take on the governance of the Crosswinds Arts and Science School, the School Board and Administration agreed that while there would be operating costs involved, it would be fiscally irresponsible to turn away a building at minimal cost. With the anticipated enrollment growth and current capacity issues, it became readily apparent that we could use the building.

Current needs or in the near future that will be addressed by the proposed plan include:

  • Middle School Capacity Issues
  • Crowding at the Crestview / Nuevas Fronteras Elementary School

The Plan

Should the district receive the building (at no cost) from the State—through the EMID board—the District 833 Board will accept the building at their April 11 meeting and plan for the operating costs associated in 2013-14 and beyond.

Construction will begin on a “connecting addition” to Woodbury Middle and Woodbury Elementary School to increase capacity for Woodbury Middle.

By the start of school in September, Woodbury Elementary students (PreK-5) will be shifted to the Crosswinds building; Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion will be shifted to the current Woodbury Elementary School to alleviate overcrowding at the shared Crestview / Nuevas Fronteras Elementary School building.

At a yet to be determined date, Middle School Immersion, currently at Cottage Grove Middle School, will be shifted to the Woodbury Elementary/Middle Campus to increase capacity for Cottage Grove Middle School.

Questions or comments about the proposal can be directed to info@sowashco.k12.mn.us.

 

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Kris Janisch February 25, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Just to be clear Julie, would it be $25,000 or $250,000 to remodel Crosswinds?
Kelly DeBrine February 28, 2013 at 05:45 PM
The cost to renovate has been estimated at $250,000 (school district estimate). The cost to "run" the school after acquisition is estimated at $1 million a year (not clear if that includes the cost of additional bussing). I attended one of the South Washington County School budget meetings. They factored this additional $1 million into their planning but now must ask stakeholders how they can cut $2 million from the schools budget - which most assuredly would mean bigger class sizes (two of the budget proposals include increasing class size to reduce expenditures by $2 million). I think all tax payers should be in on this discussion if it may affect our property taxes in the longer term. It's as if they are saying, "we must cut $2 million because we are adding an additional $1 million to our costs". Who benefits by this? Not the students of our district; not the tax payers either.
Kris Janisch February 28, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Thanks for the info Kelly.
Carrie D March 02, 2013 at 08:03 PM
I want to be very very clear that Perpich, if given governance, plans to continue the programs that are at Crosswinds now! They do not intend for this to be anything like their Arts High School that is in the West Metro. Crosswinds will be Crosswinds, and will be open for students from the East Metro to attend. You can see the proposal that Perpich submitted to the EMID board by going to their website and vieiwing their minutes (www.emid6067.net). It should also be clear that the April 1st deadline came from the EMID board (specifically the 833 rep). Perpich would have loved to have more time, but it is the EMID board that is rushing the issue.
Mike March 06, 2013 at 06:47 AM
This neglects to mention that the additional operating costs would run a FREE building for Dist. 833. This taxpayer would take that deal any day of the week. It prevents – or at least delays – all of our taxes going up to pay for new construction of a school.

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