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DL District sets two community listening sessions

The Detroit Lakes School District has set two more community listening session for possible school building projects.

The sessions are set for Saturday, March 29 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday April 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Rossman Elementary School in Detroit Lakes.

The sessions are the district’s attempt to pull in as many residents as possible to give them feedback on what they feel needed to be changed from last fall’s failed $59 million referendum and to suggest ideas on what they would like to see in a future project.

“Do we just need to add on to the schools? Do we need to build a new high school?” asked the school board’s vice president, Dr. Tom Seaworth at Monday night’s regular school board meeting. “Once we listen to everybody, we need to start pulling this all together. We need to make a decision on what’s our next step.”

School board members say since the last proposal that put a new K-3 elementary school just north of Detroit Lakes on Richwood road, there has not been one person who has come forth with alternative land options for the school.

Land location is one of the concerns raised during last year’s community meetings.

“We keep providing these opportunities for people to have a chance to speak up, and particularly when we are there to just listen, they’ve got to take advantage of that,” said Seaworth, adding that even if residents can’t make the meetings, the district always welcomes input through emails to any board member or Superintendent Doug Froke.

Representatives from the architect firm hired to handle any upcoming school improvement projects for the district will also be on hand during the upcoming community input meetings to answer any questions or address concerns.

Space issues are what the district is trying to remedy, as enrollment has increased over the past several years and is projected to continue that increase into the future.