What this looks like for Champlin, Dayton schools
By Megan Hopps
With growing enrollment in the northern and eastern sections of the Anoka-Hennepin School District, administrators are mapping out solutions to accommodate students.
Following the recommendations from the Fit for the Future Task Force, a 32-member group made up of community members and Anoka-Hennepin staff charged with developing recommendations to update existing schools and provide new classroom space, the district plans to turn to its voters to okay a bond referendum in November.
The suggested renovations have been estimated at $249 million and maintaining overall operations has been estimated at $9.5 million over 10 years. With other debt obligations expiring simultaneously, the proposed bond and operating levies would equate to about $11 a month on the average home in the district valued at $200,000.
The funding generated from bond and operating levies will create appropriately-sized facilities, remove portable classrooms to increase safety and provide flexibility for today’s classroom needs. That would mean: building two new elementary schools — one in Blaine and another in Ramsey; putting additions on the district’s five traditional high schools (Andover, Anoka, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids high schools); and providing general upgrades on existing elementary and middle schools — focusing on science classrooms and library media centers.
Construction at Champlin Park will begin will begin in July 2018 and be completed in August 2019. Construction at Jackson Middle School and Champlin Brooklyn Park Academy (CBPA) will begin in April 2020 and wrap up in August 2021.
Two questions relating to the district’s referendum will be on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 7. Those questions are:
“The board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $226.20 per pupil. The proposed referendum revenue authorization would increase each year by the rate of inflation and be applicable for ten years unless otherwise revoked or reduced as provided by law,” and “If School District Question 1 is approved, shall the school board of Anoka-Hennepin Independent School District No. 11 also be authorized to issue its general obligation school building bonds in an amount not to exceed $249 million to provide funds for the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities, including the construction and equipping of new school facilities; the construction and equipping of additions to and the remodeling and upgrading of various school sites and facilities to replace existing portable classrooms at elementary, middle school and high school facilities, to address safety and space issues resulting from student population growth and to provide safe and secure learning environments; and the construction of secured entrances and security and safety improvements at various school facilities?”
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board will be hosting community meetings in September to share additional information and answer questions. The meetings, organized in a conversational open house format, will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at each high school cafeteria and include a short, 15 minute presentation starting at 6:35 p.m. A meeting a Champlin Park High School will be Thursday, Sept. 21.
To learn more about how to calculate your property’s specific tax impact visit: www.ahschools.us/Page/37771
Champlin Park High School
Champlin Park High School will receive $16.4 million in additions totaling 38,400 square feet, and other improvements to another 9,300 square feet of space in the school.
“The use of portable classrooms across the district, including the 41 portables at the high schools, is a growing concern for district leaders, law enforcement and city leaders due to security concerns,” District Superintendent David Law said.
Chief among the projects is an addition to the building to create safe and secure learning environments through the removal of 12 portable classrooms. There will also be an expansion of the school’s security control space to address pre-911 security conditions and provide safety for all students. Also, zoning doors will secure areas so students have a secure central activities area after hours.
The classroom expansion will include new science labs, health classrooms, music storage expansion to store equipment and instruments that are currently stored in teaching space, a scene shop to support the performing arts programs and team areas and planning space for staff.
In addition, Champlin Park’s weight room and fitness space will be expanded to provide all students and school/community programs with opportunities before and after school. Athletic storage will be expanded to provide additional space for school programs and extracurricular equipment needs and activities support space will be enhanced to better serve teams and the community and provide improved supervision.
Jackson Middle School, CBPA
Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy (CBPA) will receive a $24.9 million of the $249 million bond referendum to add a 57,700 square foot addition for classrooms and core spaces, such as restrooms, for a capacity of 900 students.
CBPA elementary students will relocate out of the portion of the school connected to Jackson Middle School and into the new space. Jackson Middle School students will move into the space vacated, allowing the middle school to alleviate current capacity needs. Additionally, the portable classrooms will be removed.
Dayton And Oxbow Creek
All across the district, science labs, media centers, and classrooms haven’t been improved with appropriate technology, power infrastructure, or reconfigurations to meet today’s learning needs. Districtwide, $4.5 million will be used to provide schools with equitable space that supports today’s learning needs and quality maintenance improvements at Evergreen Park, Dayton, Monroe and Oxbow Creek Elementary Schools.
In addition, special education classrooms throughout the district have deficiencies, including restroom configuration.
“Another space challenge is the increased need for special education classrooms,” Law said. “Some 15.1 percent of Anoka-Hennepin students receive special education services, an increase of nearly 2 percent since 2006, and the program’s needs are consuming more and more classroom space as a result.”
Districtwide, $1.9 million will be used to provide special education students with updated facilities to better serve their physical and learning needs, including at Champlin Park High School, Jackson Middle School, Champlin-Brooklyn Park Academy, Evergreen Park World Cultures Community School, and Dayton, Monroe and Oxbow Creek Elementary Schools.