School task force begins work identifying facility needs

Buildings and grounds supervisor Mike Kopietz showed facilities task force members the six-lane track at Forest Lake High School. For meets, the track would need at least eight lanes. Installing a base that can withstand Minnesota freeze/thaw cycles would require major excavation, Kopietz said. (Photo by Mary Bailey)

Mary Bailey
Community Editor

Did you know that the high school track cannot be used for track meets?

That football halftimes are 7 minutes longer than at other schools, so the teams can get to their lockers and back?

More than 30 people turned out on a chilly Saturday Oct. 27 to visit athletic fields and hear about facilities issues in the school district.

The athletic field tour was part of an all-day event that also included visits to three elementary schools and the bus garage.

It will continue on two more Saturdays, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, covering the remaining elementary schools, high school, junior highs, CLC, STEP, and maintenance building.

A similar study completed in 2009 found needs totaling over $100,000,000.

Superintendent Linda Madsen said the school district is like a family: Taking care of buildings and grounds costs money, can be put off for a time, but needs to be done.

The new facilities task force began work at a meeting Oct. 15 and will continue into January.

The final result will be a recommendation to the school board.