McGregor Facility Supervisor Anthony Pierce

McGregor Facility Supervisor Anthony Pierce explains the need for more space and storage in the current school nurse’s office. The nurse’s office needs space to store clothing closet items like coats for students in need, Pierce said.

At its July 23 virtual town hall meeting, the McGregor School District, led by Superintendent Brad Johnson, said the new long-term facilities plan is characterized by pride in space and pride in performance.

The next issue of the district’s Mercury newsletter will focus on the referendum, to provide residents an alternative way to receive the information. The district Facebook page (McGregor School District #4) will continue to be updated with additional information about the facilities plan and referendum.

During the forum, Johnson reminded district residents that in more than 2,300 surveys delivered by the district, residents and employees said that safety and security, technical education updates, kitchen updates, student support services, site improvement, building a bus garage and minor updates to the auditorium were projects that they were willing to support.

The task force determined that the current facilities are not up to strength if the goal is to prepare students for 21st century learning. The current facilities do not prepare students to follow a path to careers in the trades,  and a broader focus is needed to include students who do not choose to pursue a four-year college education.

Thirty percent of students in the district receive special education services, and the facility doesn’t currently reflect the importance of those services to the student body, the task force reported.

Designated gathering spaces are needed, as is an early childhood education room, said Johnson.

Attendees were able to hear from facility staff and see photos and video of the areas being discussed. Johnson responded to questions from the community.

“Voting yes on Question 1 on the ballot will not result in a property tax increase over what you have been paying for residential or commercial properties over the past few years. If you go on to vote yes on Question 2, that will result in a small increase in property tax,” said Johnson.

District residents had the opportunity to ask questions of the superintendent at the end of the presentation. Johnson also said district staff is a ready and willing to respond to residents’ questions about the plan and the referendum until the Aug. 11 vote. A staff directory is listed on the district’s website at www.mcgregor.k12.mn.us

A second virtual town hall meeting will be held online on Aug. 4 from 6-7 p.m. to prepare residents for the referendum that will take place on Aug. 11. Ballots have already been sent to households that will mail in their votes.

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