» This post was updated on Nov. 15, 20-23 with a date change and additional information about the bus trip to Owatonna on Dec. 9.
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Greetings, Northfield School District families:
The Northfield School District Board of Education is beginning discussions about a potential November 2024 bond referendum election to address the deficiencies of our current high school facility.
Why is it important?
The Northfield High School facility was built in 1964. The district has been diligent in updating and caring for the facility. There are numerous problems to solve at the existing facility that the annual capital improvement budget cannot address:
- Numerous critical building systems, like heating and cooling, are nearing the end of their reliable service lives.
- Numerous facility deficiencies exist, such as original single-pane windows and poorly insulated exterior walls. These deficiencies increase utility costs and make classrooms uncomfortable in both hot and cold temperatures.
- The building’s educational spaces are antiquated. We better understand how a school’s physical space impacts students’ school experience. Safe, inviting, and open spaces leveraging natural light contribute to a positive learning environment.
- The district and community need more indoor athletic facility space to meet the educational and physical fitness expectations of families and the community. There is more demand for space than available at reasonable times of the day. (Please note that this needed space is different from the city council’s vital ice arena discussion.)
What is planned?
- The board has approved a random stratified sample community telephone survey scheduled for January 2024 to inform the discussion.
- The board will hold several work sessions to discuss the facility and potential solutions. Work sessions are scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Northfield High School Media Center on Thursday, Nov. 16, Monday, Dec. 4, and Tuesday, Feb. 20. The public is welcome to observe the work sessions.
- Tours of the high school facility are scheduled for Saturdays, Nov. 18,
Dec. 9, Jan. 20, and Feb. 3, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. There will also be a tour on Dec. 12 from 6 a.m.—8 p.m. These events will begin with a brief presentation in the auditoriummedia center before a guided tour of the high school facility. Northfield School District residents are encouraged to attend.
- The district will host a bus trip to tour the new Owatonna High School on Saturday, Dec. 9, boarding at 12:15 p.m at Northfield High School Door. No. 1. The new Owatonna High School opened this fall.
The board wants district residents to engage in identifying solutions to address the high school facility dilemma. The current timeline has the board deciding what facility projects to put on the November 2024 ballot, if any, by the end of February 2024.
Please direct any questions, feedback or advice to Superintendent Matt Hillmann.
Matt Hillmann, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools