RICE -- After 30 listening sessions about facilities in the district, Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools is sharing the results with the community.

The first of three sessions held last night at Watab Town Hall presented people with raw data collected over the last three months.

Many concerns came up including security, classroom size, class size, student drop-off and pick-up traffic flow, and special education spaces.

Superintendent Aaron Sinclair says it was important to make sure the whole community was involved in the process.

I feel like we heard from a lot of different perspectives which was nice to see. I guess in my opinion there's never enough feedback. So I would have loved it if it was even more, but I feel like we at least had a pretty good representation from people.

The number one concern that came up was addressing the needs of Pleasantview Elementary School. An overwhelming majority of people who participated said they would like to see a new school built on the existing property rather than a remodel or a new build at a different site.

In addition to collecting community feedback, the consulting firm analyzed the spaces at each school and compared the data to the Minnesota Department of Education’s recommendations.

The high school and middle school met most of the criteria, while the elementary schools came up short in a number of categories.

This is likely due to the age of the buildings versus recently updated recommendations.

Sinclair says the next step is for the district to look at the data and prioritize projects.

We're going to try to have some information together and some ideas for people to respond to. So that's really the next step in the process - throwing some ideas at the community and saying what do you think of this or this approach.

They will present some potential options in two more community sessions on June 25th and 26th.

If you would like to attend a results session there are still two more: Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Rice Elementary School, and Thursday, June 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the Sauk Rapids-Rice Government Center.


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