To the Editor:
At a recent tour of Dist. 883 facilities, I witnessed, firsthand, years of deferred maintenance, which is addressed in the upcoming bond issue.
Middle School roofing is 10 years past its designed lifetime. Neither the Middle nor Elementary School has a backup heating system. Last winter, the Middle School boiler broke down twice within a week. Fortunately it was relatively mild, but if it had been a harsh winter like 2010-11, pipes in outer walls would have burst, causing extensive, expensive damage. The RMS boiler is so old that replacement parts cannot be obtained; repairs must be done by modifying it.
If the bond doesn’t pass, then the Middle School building (grades 6-8) will be closed. Sixth graders will be put in the Elementary School, and grades 7-8 will be dispersed among High School classrooms (due to needing different types of rooms for different classes, we can’t have a segregated ‘wing’ just for them), including making additional classrooms out of storage areas. These programs would be moved out of the Elementary School to allow room for sixth graders moving in:
• Before/after school childcare (used by many employed Rockford District parents)
• Early Childhood Family Education (for parents/children younger than school-age)
• Preschool Early Childhood Special-Ed
The school district will then need to implement a Lease Levy (which does not require voter approval) to pay for leasing space for these programs outside of the Elementary School. And yes, this does mean that if the bond doesn’t pass, your taxes will go up anyway (you just won’t have a choice in the matter).
If you have questions, please ask our superintendent, district office, school board, principals or teachers. Together, with the dedication of everyone, I believe we can have the school district our community’s children deserve!
Informational Meetings: Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m., Rockford Middle School; Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m., Rockford High School; and Oct. 24, 6:30p.m. Corcoran City Hall.
District bond information: bond-election-information.district.rockford.k12.mn.us
Yes for the Future’s website (video of building tour here soon): www.yesforthefuture.com.