Community Design Team discusses future of district facilities


Photo by John Franklin

The Community Design Team discusses in small groups how to best use district facilities. Each table is assigned a building to make specific recommendations for.

John Franklin, Copy Editor

When January comes, the School Board will receive a recommendation from the Community Design team. The Community Design team is a team the Cunningham group put together after the School board voted to hire them. The Community Design team’s goal is to utilize existing space in the school district, enhance existing facilities and to identify deferred maintenance projects.

The CDT meets to decide on the future of the facilities in the district. The decisions they make will be recommended to the school board in January.

Social studies teacher Mike Kaul said the Community Design team looks at how education will look like in the next 10 to 15 years.  From there, they look at how they can make the buildings accommodate for that in the best way.

During the first few meetings of the CDT, the team decided on their mission. After those meetings, they took tours of all the schools in the district and saw what can be improved. They are currently deciding on what to recommend from a need based standpoint and a financial standpoint.

“I think the next couple of meetings, at least I think, we’re supposed to start talking about the costs relating to some of these objectives,” Daniel Kyllo, chairman of the West Lakeland township board, said. “How much would it cost to build an elementary school or add on enough space to certain schools.”

The CDT will recommend what a consensus of the group believes. Currently, it looks like at least three things will be recommended. The first recommendation is building two elementary schools in Lake Elmo because Lake Elmo elementary is at capacity. The second is to expand Brookview by eight classrooms because Woodbury is growing at a rapid rate and Brookview will not be able to keep up with all the new students coming in. The third is to move the ALC and Central Services to the Oak Park Building and sell the current central services building.

Kyllo explained that Brookview Elementary is nearing capacity, and based on demographic projections, it will need to be expanded. Kyllo also mentioned that Lake Elmo Elementary is over capacity and that they need to either remodel or build an entirely new school.

Even though 70 people meet up for four hours every two weeks, the school board is in charge of what actually happens. The CDT only makes recommendations for the school board, they do not make actual decisions.

I think the next couple of meetings, at least I think, we’re supposed to start talking about the costs relating to some of these objectives.”

— Daniel Kyllo

Kyllo added, “You know, listen, they can listen and consider but you know they have the ultimate decision of how to spend taxpayer taxpayers money prudently.”

This is a hard community team to become a part of. In order to get in, one must submit an application and then have a board member approve their request. The other way to become a part of the CDT is to have a School Board member ask you to participate.

“I was approached by one of the school board members to participate,” Kyllo said.

The Community Design Team recommends what should be done to current district facilities to make education be great as it can be in the next 10-15 years. They will research and think about the future of our district, but in the end, the School Board is who makes the final decision.

“I hope so [the school board listens to our recommendations], I mean, otherwise, it’s kind of a waste of time,” Kyllo added.