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District 88 panel opts for new high school

March 12, 2014

NEW ULM — The District 88 Facilities Task Force will recommend a plan that calls for building a new high school in New Ulm, its members decided at their fourth and final meeting Tuesday....

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Mar-20-14 10:33 PM

Move to Alexandria. There are plenty of job openings, tons of lakes and great schools....and many to choose from. And the PLUS of it is that the community understands the importance and need of new schools.

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Mar-17-14 3:52 PM

Sheepherder, what does your beef with Mankato have to do with New Ulm building a new school? You had a bad experience with one city so you are against doing something good in another city? Sounds like sour grapes to me. If you had properly maintained your Mankato property they wouldn't have had to send in the building inspector. It was only after you complied with repairs that they said they would live there, not before? Interesting.

Also, I wish kids were finishing college and moving to New Ulm! That would be ideal! Instead we are stuck with way too many old krauts with rusty hinges on their coin purses! I'm glad you got your good public education at someone else's expense so you could rip off college kids. Your parents must be so proud!

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Mar-17-14 7:20 AM

So... going back to your original point, are you generally opposed to public education?

I guess I could say that there are plenty of taxpayer funded services that I do not use. The Senior Center, for example. I don't need the nursing home, either. I see that they are asking for more of my tax money. What do you support?

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Mar-16-14 8:16 PM

......Typical ploy.......when a liberal is finding themselves losing they turn to name calling.........that's their race card!

Don't know if you deserve an explanation to maybe a slumlord slam ....but after a long battle with that city who wanted the house for a parking lot, an jumping threw all the hoops of their knight they sent out in the form of a building inspector......after I was done during his final inspection....he commented "I wouldn't mind living here myself".. So wrong again!!

As usual supporting the wrong side...

but still have to congratulate you in not creating another burden to society by paying the inflated prices of a higher education yourself, it had to be hard! .......there still might be some hope for you yet!

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Mar-16-14 7:18 PM

I'm pretty sure I never rented from a slum lord.

I paid my own way through college, including rent without student loans or money from my parents. Try again.

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Mar-16-14 6:01 PM

typical liberal response.......have someone else the past 20 - 25 years I owned a 10 bedroom house in Mankato which i rented to college students at an extremely conservative price......about 93% of the rents were paid by their parents!!....sometime I would pose as a repair man such with their defenses down they would say an do anything..mostly dressed in designer clothes etc!....1 gal talking on the phone to her mother said "I don't give a F*** just send me more money!!"....these are the liberal attitudes that having everybody pay for something They want is ingrained at an early age.....even by the college instructors!! now it seems like the same people are out of school an moved to New Ulm (immaturity intact!)an wanting more people to pay for their kids designer education......some kids never grow up! ....are you sure you never rented from me??

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Mar-16-14 12:49 PM


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Mar-16-14 12:49 PM

Let's send Sheepherder a bill for the education (s)he received and user that money to help pay for the new school.

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Mar-16-14 11:28 AM

Lets start another referendum.........Those that don't agree with a referendum don't have to pay for it.....simple huh!!!

If you want a new and your like minded could band together an build your own school ones stopping you!

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Mar-14-14 2:01 PM

They don't "need" a new school, but they will need more gym and performing arts space.

For $35 million, they can put on additions to the schools, taking away more green space and possibly having to add on more space in the future. This also will not help the traffic issues on Payne and Garden Streets.

For 45 million, they get a whole new campus on 60 acres. History shows that if they build on the edge of town that it will spur new neighborhoods, which is a bonus. New neighborhoods mean more tax dollars.

In the end, it comes down $35 million in additions or $45 million in minor changes to existing buildings, maintenance issues, and then a new campus. To me, it seems ridiculous to spend $35 million adding on to these buildings.

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Mar-14-14 1:43 PM

You have some good questions, Deerhunt.

The square footage includes the gymnasium and performing arts spaces. On top of that, there are standards of so many square feet per student for cafeteria space, classrooms, special education, etc.

Things such as State mandated special education programs, as well as all day you kindergarten, 3 and 4 year old preschool, and ECFE classes are all things that need space within the district. These things just didn't exist 50 years ago.

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Mar-14-14 1:04 PM

Very good points Deerhunt. I'd vote for the new school too if it makes sense. Right now nobody has provided anything tangible that supports the notion that a new high school is the best option. Just because a task force reached that conclusion doesn't translate to the general voting population to rubber stamp it. So far the only thing tangible thing I can walk away with this proposal is that it is nearly 29% more expensive than the nearest alternative.

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Mar-14-14 11:06 AM

As in business ,there needs to be an explanation of needing 140,000 new square feet, that is a very large amount. People like me need to be convinced of the need, especially when financial times are still tight yet. We need to be convinced that if the recession gets worse or Kraft leaves town that we can still afford it. Show us how this will improve the quality of the education for the children. Make these points clear and you will find it easier to pass a referendum. Points like if we build a new school, business will come here don't hold water ,present facts that convince us. I would vote for it if I am presented with information(facts) that make the case. You need to become salesman , not attack us for having a different viewpoint. People shutdown and don't listen when attacked.

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Mar-14-14 10:56 AM

Mama, you totally miss the point, people move where the cost of living is more affordable. Living in Courtland helps pay for your school and that is it. That is probably the only reason your enrollment is up due to the growth around the area, New Ulm's population is declining . I have heard that another large business in New Ulm is thinking about starting another facility outside of New Ulm due to the high utility costs. Your town's population is on the decline, that is a fact. Maybe Courtland should be the home for the new school, there population is not that far behind Nicollet. Do you really believe your decline is attributed to not having a new high school or waterpark? Business's move where they get the best deals , New Ulm is more concerned about festivals.

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Mar-14-14 10:07 AM

Deerhunt, where do most Courtland kids attend school. Oh ya, ISD 88! They would still have to pay any district referendums on their property taxes, so that kind of shoots your theory down.

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Mar-14-14 7:09 AM

New Ulm's enrollment numbers stabilized two years ago and are now increasing. We also rent 8 portable classrooms for our math class at about $50,000 a year. The high school is packed to the gills with kids.

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Mar-13-14 6:49 PM

Do you know what really increases crime? Empty buildings, low incomes, poverty. If you let New Ulm's economy go in the toilet when all the families decide to move to greener pastures, you will see crime rates increase.

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Mar-13-14 2:44 PM

If you get allot more people to come to town you will have allot more crime and then your children will not be safe anyway.So the people that think that this is a good idea are you going to pay for the people's at rent when the taxes go up so will the rent and then there will be a homeless problem because people will not be able to afford the rent then they will have to move out and then you will be seeing homeless people all over new ulm. Well then the old middle school should be turned in to apartments for low income people.The utilities. How many preschool/daycare's are there in this town already.I think they should see about how much it would cost to use some of the empty building in town because there are allot of them that I see.When I was going to school we did not have air and if it is cold look at some houses that are not perfect.

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Mar-13-14 10:31 AM

Jessica , saying that people are not living within their means if they cannot afford higher taxes is an unfair statement. The lower your income is the less disposable income you have and you are hit harder by these increases. These property tax increases figure into everything you buy in town. It may seem slight but costs have to be passed on if you want to succeed in business. You also want an extension of the sales tax for a waterpark ,you make New Ulm sound like a bunch of elitists that don't want or need the lower class. You have to keep things affordable for young families starting out or they move elsewhere. Why do you think Courtland keeps adding more homes and people. They keep their taxes low , drawing a lot of young families to their town.

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Mar-13-14 10:28 AM

Not that its probably a good gage, but I think its encouraging that when the "glom and doom, the sky will fall and I will have to eat ramon noddles the rest of my life negative nelly's if my taxes go up" authors on here post, the disagrees highly out number the agrees. That was not the case on articles such as this one just five or so years ago. Maybe, just maybe we are turning the corner here on the dying community. Build, I think I can hack the increase.

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Mar-13-14 10:25 AM

I wonder if all of those doubters who say, what we have is "Good Enough" or why do we need something new or shiny, use the old it is good enough. Have you ever been to Jefferson or Washington when the temp outside is below zero during lunch time. Have you ever walked the halls of those schools and seen how cramped those kids are. This task force was open to the public maybe instead of sitting behind the computer spouting negativity or misconceptions you could have joined our group, had your voice heard, offered an alternative solution. This Task Force looked at every solution, and a New High School turned out to be the best solution to the problem. Let's support our kids! I hope that we can provide everyone with all of the information that will help answer all of questions and concerns. **Please excuse any spelling errors**

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Mar-13-14 10:21 AM

My kids are enrolled in St. Paul's and MVL, but 100% in support of a new school for ISD 88. Talk of a water park, Menard's, Wal-Mart, Vogel Fieldhouse packed every night, talk of AmericanInn building out by Wal-Mart, maybe a new school for NU Public, I love it! Honestly, if you cannot afford what referendums do to your taxes, then you are not spending within your means. Keep growing and building New Ulm!

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Mar-13-14 10:18 AM

Mankato, St. Peter, and Shakopee aren't building schools to attract new business. This is a total myth. They are building new schools because their student populations continue to increase. New Ulm is in a different situation completely. Enrollment numbers continue to decline in New Ulm. The only reason they are considering a new high school is because of the current state of the middle school.

People will move to town when there are jobs that pay enough to support their families. Another critical factor is how affordable the community is to live. Raising property taxes on a base that is static (at best) only increases the costs and erodes the affordability of the community. Those very businesses you hope to attract are going to look elsewhere if New Ulm remains too expensive to consider as a choice to open or expand a business.

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Mar-13-14 8:01 AM

I would like an explanation of needing 140,000 sq. feet for 827 kids is realistic. At a cost of 30 million for the high school that equals $725 /pupil for the next 50 years and 170 sq. feet per pupil which is larger than my office. I just need to know how this will improve their education, that is what we send them there for . This is in addition to the current space we have , why does the annex have to be torn down, why is Washington only capable of handling early childhood and kindergarten as compared to when I went there it housed 3 grades plus 1/2 of kindergarten? How much square footage do we need, is the population of New Ulm exploding? To sell this there needs to be a better explanation, more square footage equals more maintenance expenses also. If Kraft moves out can we still afford it ? I think the district needs to do a better job explaining if they expect to get this approved by the voters.

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Mar-12-14 7:19 PM

When the last operating referendum passed, the business community showed strong support for it. Why do you suppose that is? They know that one thing that every thriving community has in common is that they invest in good schools.

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