Our projected enrollment growth and our visionary Strategic Plan underscore the need for a comprehensive facilities review and planning process that kicked off in the fall of 2018 and continued throughout the year.
- How was the plan built?
- How will the plan be implemented?
- What is a simple explanation of the plan?
- Is it true District Center will be torn down?
- Does the District plan to buy property bordering North Campus?
A Facility Planning Committee, comprised of parents, staff and community members, worked through the 2018-19 academic year to study the district’s current facilities, current and projected enrollment, and educational goals. The committee focused on the areas of learning spaces, community spaces, and physical conditions and built a long-range facilities master plan that was presented to the School Board in April of 2019.
The plan is comprehensive in nature, creating a domino-effect of solutions to meet the broad needs identified by the committee. A summary of the committee’s recommendations consists of updates across the district, including:
district-wide additions and renovations to accommodate projected enrollment growth,
safety and security improvements and deferred maintenance projects at all district facilities,
a new K-5 elementary school being built in Hugo,
Oneka becoming a K-5 elementary and Hugo Elementary becoming a northern Early Childhood location,
the current North Campus receiving an addition to allow it to become the site of a single 9-12 high school building,
Sunrise Park Middle School moving to the current South Campus location,
the current Sunrise Park Middle School site becoming the site for the Senior Center and Early Childhood programs currently housed at Normandy Park, the Transition Education Center (currently located in leased space in Hugo), and the district office,
Central Middle School expanding to take over the current District Center building,
district-wide classroom and building updates to create flexible learning spaces.
The sequencing built into the plan makes it complicated, and the comprehensive nature means it touches each of our buildings.
No. A part of the committee’s recommendation that has been a point of discussion in recent weeks is the future District Center, which is currently located in the 100-year-old White Bear Lake High School. With Central Middle School expanding into the space, the building will once again house students. The committee’s plan presented to the School Board in April included a discussion of Central Middle School (including the current District Center) being replaced at some point in the future, potentially 10-20 years out. The current board and district administration has not accepted that portion of the plan, due to the cost and the historical significance of the building.
The addition to North Campus could occur without expanding the site, but the site would best serve students if it expands over time. The district may be interested in working with neighboring homeowners to work out amicable arrangements to purchase homes as they become available and would expect to pay fair value. The School Board has said it is not interested in exercising eminent domain.
Facilities Planning Process
The district worked last summer with a demographer to project our enrollment trends and with a design and engineering firm to collect data about our facilities. Next steps included community involvement, with engagement efforts taking place in order to collect input from the community at large.
A Facility Planning Committee comprised of a trio of teams focused on the areas of learning spaces, community spaces, and physical conditions.
Facilities Planning Committee Membership
The Facility Planning Committee was formed with an application process in September of 2018 to study the White Bear Lake Area Schools' facilities and develop a comprehensive, long-range Facilities Master Plan for recommendation to the School Board. The facilities study and resulting recommendation was based on capacity, current enrollment, projected enrollment, educational needs of the School District, alignment with the District's Strategic Vision, community recreation, special programs, school security, and financial stewardship.
View the complete District Facility Planning Committee Charge Statement.