Woodbury Elementary students would attend class at the Crosswinds Arts and Science School building next fall if District 833 is able to acquire the facility.
Students in the district’s Spanish immersion program, Nuevas Fronteras, would attend school at the Woodbury Elementary building.
South Washington County Schools on Wednesday posted a notice on its website about the plan.
However, Crosswinds Arts and Science School could be turned over to the Perpich Center for Arts Education if the Golden Valley-based group is able to secure funding from the Legislature by April 1. It could cost as much as $3 million for Perpich to operate the school.
District 833 has previously expressed interest in Crosswinds as a way to house a growing student population.
The district’s plan, if it does obtain Crosswinds at no cost, would also include the construction on a “connecting addition” to Woodbury Middle and Woodbury Elementary to increase capacity for the middle school.
Below is the notice in full, which can also be found on the South Washington County Schools website.
District proposes plan for the use of Crosswinds Arts and Science School should the school become available
Since October, the district has known of the possibility to acquire a building through the East Metro Integration District (EMID). The EMID board has discussed recently they would no longer operate their two schools due to their desire to focus on programming. The school, currently Crosswinds Arts and Science School is located just within the boundary of District 833 and the Woodbury Elementary Attendance Boundary.
Conversations began immediately among district staff, other superintendents and the EMID board because two buildings (Crosswinds and Harambee) would be available to its member districts. In January, the EMID board granted the Roseville School District governance of Harambee, located within the boundaries of the Roseville District. The decision regarding Crosswinds was very different for a number of reasons. Roseville was willing to assume governance because the school attracts students and remains at capacity, and as a result is fiscally efficient. Harambee is located in a central location within the Roseville School district.
Unlike Roseville, District 833 was not willing to agree to run the program at Crosswinds as it is currently being run because it is operating at a deficit. The building was built for 600, with approximately 350 students attending. What the district expressed an interest in doing was to acquire a 140,000 square foot building at no cost to its constituents to aid in addressing its future growth requirements with the understanding that the district would incur annual operating costs if it acquired the building. The building is owned by the State, and assuming governance allows the district or other entity to benefit from a fairly new building without incurring acquisition costs for our taxpayers.
As the administration began considering whether the building would benefit the district, a team of district staff and parents from various schools and programs began to meet and consider proposals. The proposal meeting most of the district’s current needs continually rose to the top and is being considered. The intent of the district was to ensure key stakeholders were aware and understood the merits of the proposal and were provided an opportunity for feedback about the plans. Thus, meetings were held with staff members and parent meetings were scheduled at buildings affected by the proposal.
While the parent meetings are scheduled to occur shortly, the district believes it is necessary to provide a snapshot of the proposal through this venue to counteract misinformation that has been distributed to the community. We encourage parents of the schools affected to attend the meetings and to gain a comprehensive understanding of the detail and reasons for the proposed use of Crosswinds. The intent of the meetings is to hear feedback from parents involved.
Solving District Needs
When determining whether to take on the governance of the Crosswinds Arts and Science School, the School Board and Administration agreed that while there would be operating costs involved, it would be fiscally irresponsible to turn away a building at minimal cost. With the anticipated enrollment growth and current capacity issues, it became readily apparent that we could use the building.
Current needs or in the near future that will be addressed by the proposed plan include:
- Middle School Capacity Issues
- Crowding at the Crestview / Nuevas Fronteras Elementary School
Should the district receive the building (at no cost) from the State—through the EMID board—the District 833 Board will accept the building at their April 11 meeting and plan for the operating costs associated in 2013-14 and beyond.
Construction will begin on a “connecting addition” to Woodbury Middle and Woodbury Elementary School to increase capacity for Woodbury Middle.
By the start of school in September, Woodbury Elementary students (PreK-5) will be shifted to the Crosswinds building; Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion will be shifted to the current Woodbury Elementary School to alleviate overcrowding at the shared Crestview / Nuevas Fronteras Elementary School building.
At a yet to be determined date, Middle School Immersion, currently at Cottage Grove Middle School, will be shifted to the Woodbury Elementary/Middle Campus to increase capacity for Cottage Grove Middle School.
Questions or comments about the proposal can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.