Debate over second high school grows louder in Shakopee

  • Article by: Erin Adler , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 25, 2014 - 2:01 PM

On March 11, the district’s residents will vote on an $89 million proposal that would fund building a second high school.

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anonymous5Feb. 25, 14 9:00 PM

As a 2013 graduate of Shakopee High School, let me say that I know the Shakopee school district and the high school very well. Though the proposal for a new and beautiful high school sounds tempting, there is no need for one. The high school was built less than ten years ago and there is more than enough space to make an addition on to it as there is a field in the back that is only used for gym classes. We as a district need to start saving money for once and stop abusing the tax payers into paying insane amounts of money to please the school board. We need to redistrict and stop taking students from surrounding towns and focus on those who live in Shakopee. I mean no harm by saying this, but I wanted to tell the side of the story besides someone from the school board.

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odinmanFeb. 26, 14 5:41 AM

Shakopee is well known as a sanctuary city with a high population of illegal immigrants with school age children. The city has not been honest with the voters as to the impact this has had on the increase in the student population. Asking city homeowners to pony up more money to...in part...educate residents who are not in the country legally is not fair in my opinion.

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stplooklistnFeb. 26, 14 8:22 AM

Who is behind the demographic study? Who has already decided the second HS would be the same design? Seems like any school project, some group is going to be making money and administration loves going to ribbon cutting ceremonies.

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whatisbetterFeb. 26, 14 8:30 AM

The current H.S. is only 7 years old. At the time of the last referendum it was sold to the public that the site would have room to expand. This was when the economy was still doing well and development was running rampant. So, either the school district lied to the public or concealed what the future was going to be at that time just so they could get the current H.S. approved. This from the construction company website: "Stahl served as general contractor for the construction of this three-story 322,000-SF new high school for Shakopee Public Schools. The building is home to grades 10-12, has a student capacity of 1,600 and was designed for easy expansion to accommodate future growth."

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whatisbetterFeb. 26, 14 8:36 AM

Comparing area school enrollments and campus sizes this is how it breaks down. Apple Valley 19 students/acre. Burnsville 44, Eagan 23, Eastview 35, Farmington 18, Lakeville North 23, Lakeville South 19, Prior Lake 19, Rosemount 22, Eden Prairie 43, Minnetonka 30, Wayzata 31 and Shakopee 20. Keep in mind Shakopee does not have a football field/track on their campus like the others do. According to the school districts figures Shakopee will have 28 students/campus acre by 2017. If two high schools are built this would be 14. Looks to me that this is far more a want than a need.

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whatisbetterFeb. 26, 14 2:14 PM

Something else that has not been reported is the property the district owns for the proposed second high school is in Jackson Township. Unless the school plans on operating on well and septic, the city would need to annex the land and then sewer and water would need to be extended from 3/4 mile to a mile to the site. Are these costs included in the referendum?

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Golf girlFeb. 27, 14 6:49 AM

It is a hard pill to swallow when the high school is not even experiencing any current crowding issues. I also do not like how the PR materials show the areas outside of the City as the next areas to experience growth. The entire area shown will not be developed into residential as it alludes to - the City will not be annexing all of the township areas for future growth at urban residential densities and it is extremely misleading. The numbers are skewed when they include 9th graders in the high school and does not allow a fair comparison. No additional specific information on how the remaining 11 million will be spent is provided and that is a lot of extra money to ask for without a detailed breakdown exactly on what it will be spent on! The other selling point has been that it gives more opportunities for kids to participate in sports, etc. allowing them to be more successful. I agree kids who participate in extra curricular activities keeps them out of trouble but not everyone needs to be a star on the team, what about intramural sport opportunities, there really are none for sports opportunities for high school age children. Intramural or inhouse could help this. I do not have children but I'm involved, volunteer for and I'm all for supporting our schools and have voted in favor of all other school referendums so children are successful but this doesn't seem to be the time and I feel the selling tactics are more scare tactics with skewed information. Do we want to be another school district looking at closing schools once the growth boom is over?

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jackpinesavFeb. 27, 1410:15 AM

Served on District 720 board in the past. This is classic conflict about change. But unless the bridge is blown up, the growth will continue. And planning carefully for change is better than emotional last minute decisions. Seems to me a 3 year study group covered all the issues. And the economy is growing so growth will continue in the valley. Schools are a jobs program to support the economy for the boomers retirement...these students will be the work force to support us, in a high-tech world economy.

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april24Feb. 28, 14 1:22 PM

OMG, anonymous5 I feel for you. Only 18 years old and already indoctrinated with right wing, anti-tax dogma. Never had a chance...

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rogerbFeb. 28, 14 3:10 PM

April I commend a-5 for taking a stand and stating his case at a young age. Maybe there is some hope for the next generation.

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