Future growth and facilities plan will be presented

Laurel School District faces growing issues
By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor

At the May 22, meeting of Laurel’s Board of Trustees, members of the facilities committee will present their findings to the greater community. Dan Story who has been on the facilities planning committee since its origination, hopes to get input from community stakeholders including parents, residents, city personnel and folks in the business community before moving forward with the “big picture.”
“We haven’t got it all figured out,” Story said. “We are going to present a suggested timeline.”
The timeline will provide opportunities for educating community members on the districts’ needs and receiving public input. The committee will be recommending the issuing of bonds to pay for the necessary improvements when a consensus is reached. Although the committee was able to find $2.5 million in deferred maintenance and other savings, the bond amount requested is expected to be about $52.5 million.
“It’s necessary and needed to provide for our schools,” Story said. “But, we want to make sure the community understands the needs of the district and we would like to get a lot more input.”
The committee has already taken into consideration the results of a community poll. According to Superintendent Linda Filpula, the issues raised through the poll will be the focus of the plan moving forward.
“This plan is designed around the educational needs of current and future students,” Filpula said. “The proposal addresses the overcrowding issues in the elementary schools as well as the middle and high school.”
Beyond creating room for a basic education, the plan allows for expansion into more technical and career learning than the district can provide now.
“It includes repurposing a school building to create a Laurel Career Center to better prepare students for employment after high school,” the Superintendent said. “It also addresses what to do with the Administration Building along with other district needs. We welcome feedback and suggestions on the proposal to ensure we have a long-term plan the community will support.”

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