Commentary: Referendum would support needed renovations at Audubon school

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Detroit Lakes Tribune by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Detroit Lakes Tribune. To submit a letter, email or mail it to Detroit Lakes Tribune, 511 Washington Ave., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.

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North Dakota school administrator Tim Godfrey became the new superintendent at Lake Park-Audubon Public Schools on July 1. He and his wife, Jackie, plan to make the move from Fargo to Audubon at the end of this month. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Fifteen years ago, Lake Park Audubon School District began the process of constructing a new secondary school building. A decision was made to place the new building in Lake Park with the promise of future construction to happen at the elementary school in Audubon.

On Nov. 2, stakeholders of Lake Park Audubon Public Schools will be voting on a referendum to renovate our elementary school and add to our career and technical education wing at the secondary school. This project is in alignment with our long-term plan of ensuring we are providing the very best environment for our students to learn and grow.

Currently, there are many deficiencies in the elementary school that must be corrected. The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is not conducive to effective learning and, considering the pandemic, causes safety concerns. The pick up and drop off point for school buses is a safety concern as well. Building and classroom access is limited and not compliant with codes set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Spaces formerly used for closets and maintenance rooms have been repurposed for learning and office space.

As Lake Park Audubon Elementary has grown, the building has not been able to keep up. The planned renovations will provide appropriate spaces to meet the learning needs of our students and support their future success.

Current trends in the national and global workforce point to the need for highly skilled labor. This is particularly true in the trade fields. At this time, Lake Park Audubon Secondary School is not properly equipped to offer students experiences to support interest in these fields. The expansion of our CTE wing will enable us to provide more opportunities for courses geared towards preparing students for choices in welding, plumbing, mechanics, and engineering, just to name a few. It will also provide hands-on experiences that lead to building skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.


Above everything else, we ask that you be informed, engaged, and part of the process. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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