Published 6:41 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Commissioner of the Department of Education
Review and Comment on the School Construction
Proposal of Glenville-Emmons School District, ISD #2886-01

A review and comment must be provided on a school district construction project proposal before the district conducts a referendum, solicits bids, or issues bonds for the project. A project proposal has been submitted for review and comment according to requirements set forth in Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.71, subdivisions 9 and 10, and Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.72. The district provides the following information:
1. The geographic area and population to be served:
a. preschool through grade 12 student enrollment for the past five years, and
b. student enrollment projections for the next five years.

2. A list of existing school facilities:
a. by year constructed,
b. their uses, and
c. an assessment of the extent to which alternate facilities are available within school district bound aries and in adjacent school districts.

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3. A list of specific deficiencies of the facility:
a. demonstrating the need for a new or renovated facility to be provided,
b. the process used to determine the deficiencies,
c. a list of those deficiencies that will and will not be addressed by the proposed projects,
d. a list of specific benefits that the new or renovated facility will provide to students, teachers, and community users served by the facility.

4. A description of the project, including:
a. specifications of site and outdoor space acreage,
b. square footage allocations for classrooms, laboratories and support spaces,
c. estimated expenditures for major portions of the project,
d. estimated changes in facility operating costs, and
e. dates the project will begin and be completed.

5. A specification of the source of project financing, including:
a. applicable statutory citations,
b. the scheduled date for a bond issue or school board action,
c. a schedule of payments, including debt service equalization aid, and
d. the effect of a bond issue on local property taxes by property class and valuation.

6. Documentation obligating the school district and contractors to comply with the following items:
a. Minnesota Statutes, section 471.345 governing municipal contracts,
b. sustainable design,
c. school facility commissioning under Minnesota Statutes, section 123B.72, certifying the plans and designs for heating, ventilating, air conditioning and air filtration for an extensively renovated or new facility meet or exceed current code standards, including ASHRAE air filtration Standard 52.1,
d. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) acoustical performance criteria, design requirements and guidelines for schools on maximum background noise levels and reverberation times,
e. state fire code,
f. chapter 326B governing building codes, and
g. consultation with affected government units about the impact of the project on utilities, roads, sewers, sidewalks, retention ponds, school bus and automobile traffic, access to mass transit and safe access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Description of Proposed School Construction Project
Glenville-Emmons School District, ISD #2886-01, is proposing a single question bond referendum on August 8, 2023 that would authorize $37.42 million in bonding authority to finance the construction of a new, PK-12 facility on the existing high school site in Glenville. The existing high school, with the exception of the gymnasium which would be updated and attached to the new school, would be demolished. The district would seek a buyer for the elementary school. If a buyer cannot be found, the district will need to finance future demolition costs which are not funded by the proposed referendum.
The projects would be scheduled for completion in calendar years 2023 through 2026. Cost estimates by location/project type are as follows:

The existing elementary and high school in Glenville were initially built in 1956. Subsequent building additions occurred at the high school in 1959 and in 1970 at the elementary school. Facility analysis have found the existing structures in need of facility upgrades estimated to be 50% of the costs associated with new construction which is below the 60% of new cost threshold for building new in MDE’s construction guidelines. The proposed new school would result in cost savings from the efficiency gains associated with operating a new structure and going from two separate schools to a single PK-12 building.

The district currently has around 230 students enrolled in K-12 programming and future student enrollment is not expected to materially increase. The proposed new K-12 school, in conjunction with the existing high school gym results in roughly 378 square feet of building space per student; exceeding the district’s current space needs as well as MDE’s building space Guidelines of around 200 square feet per student. The existing high school site is roughly 19 acres, below MDE Guidelines of around 40 acres for a school of the proposed size.

The district has supplied cost estimates to operate and staff the additional building space and it appears existing revenues will be sufficient to fund existing operational costs if enrollment can be maintained at or near current levels. The proposed projects are likely to reduce operational costs for the school district in the short term.