School board member addresses new growth in Dayton

By Megan Hopps

Sun Press Newspapers


The Dayton City Council heard from Anoka-Hennepin School Board member Bill Harvey to address the city’s questions about student attendance at Dayton Elementary after development growth.

The city of Dayton recently had an open house for residents to address their concerns or ask questions regarding the current and future projects and plans of the city. One of the recurring questions at the open house involved the River Hills and Sun Dance Woods developments and where the families would send their children to school. Residents were concerned with the number of students Dayton Elementary could hold.

Others asked if perhaps Champlin Elementary would reopen in the case of population growth.

Mayor Tim McNeil and the Dayton City Council invited School Board member Harvey to address these concerns.

In terms of Dayton’s growth, Harvey said that the school board looks at each city’s growth and evaluates how many students the school can accommodate. Harvey assured the council that the school board only closes schools or redefines boundaries as a last resort. He added that there is still room for growth at Dayton Elementary. Mayor McNeil asked if schools like Champlin Elementary would reopen if needed. Harvey responded saying this was not likely.

Harvey added that in recent years, larger numbers of students have moved through the systems and the school district required added funds to rent space to accommodate these students. This is not an expense the schools currently have, and with those savings, the board is looking at is building additions to existing schools to increase capacity. This is financially wiser than reopening schools because existing buildings are up to safety codes. These expansions will come at no cost for taxpayers as the money used for these additions has already been saved.

Harvey added that expanding is not in Dayton’s immediate future, but may be on the horizon in later years.

In other action, the council:

HEARD from Associate Planner Matthew Gindele who gave an overview of the preliminary and final plat approvals for the Madson’s Manor development. The plan includes 5 lots, one double-wide, on Zachary Lane in Dayton.

APPROVED the recommendation of recycling bids, the Earthbound phone system, KDV firm for Audit Services, and Veolia for the Public Works evaluation.

REVIEWED the October 2013 financial repor.

SET Thursday, Dec. 10, for Year-in-Review Holiday Open House.


Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]