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How about these locations for a new DL school?

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The time when members of the Detroit Lakes Community, whether current residents or past-and-hopefully future residents, discuss the need for more space for children within the school district. At this point in the conversation, it seems that most agree that something needs to be done. Keeping things the same is not good for the children or the community at large. But exactly what needs to be done remains the issue. As we move forward this time, my hope is that we will look to these decisions as investments in the next generation.

As a social worker, I spent time visiting children in all of the schools in the district. Nothing was worse for a child than having to meet with them in a hallway because there was no other office space available. We would discuss confidential information about their life, and then be forced to pause while another child would walk by. Children struggling with family issues deserve better than this.

One location that I haven't seen discussed much is south of Big Detroit Lake at the intersection of South Shore Drive and 270th Avenue. Driving by one can almost picture science students walking across the street to the lake or children walking to school from the growing neighborhoods nearby.

Another that I think deserves a second look is the Highway 10 corridor and particularly the section north of Walmart.

I know what you are thinking "but there is a railroad and airport nearby." Has a railroad ever stopped you from traveling north from Downtown Detroit Lakes to the middle school? Or have you been worried about your safety from the airport while shopping in Walmart?

Yes, a train crossing can be inconvenient, but like anyone traveling to Rossman Elementary from the West knows, you just leave yourself a few more minutes of time in case of a train delay.

Furthermore, this location could spur development in section of town and provide easy travel for buses and out of town visitors.

I think we can all agree there is no perfect location to build a new school in Lakes Country. There are many unique concerns with wetlands, water tables, and the overall layout of the city of Detroit Lakes. However, I believe we can find a good location if we are willing to think outside the box and work like our life depends on it because for some of the most vulnerable children in our district, it does.—Seth O'Neill. Detroit Lakes

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