Faribault Superintendent Todd Sesker and other representatives of Independent School District 656 visited with the Faribault City Council at City Hall Tuesday evening.  The Superintendent made a power point presentation highlighting discussions a community task force committee has been having concerning facilities needs in the district.

Sesker told council members the task force began their work in May of 2018.  It was comprised of 23 community members and 23 school district staff.  The task force had seven total meetings.  Sesker had various discussions with groups around the community to get input also.  For example he met with members of the Ministerial Association at the Hy-vee Coffee Shop.

The Faribault Public Schools Superintendent will be a guest on Wednesday's KDHL AM Minnesota program to educate us more about a community survey being conducted this week by a St. Paul firm that conducts scientific surveys.  Springsted is making calls on behalf of the school district to 400 homes in the district.  They will be asking questions about the schools.  The phone number used will be 651-318-0284.

The task force discussed what really needs to be done throughout the district.  Sesker says the four categories were similar to the previous task force.

  1. Safety and Security
  2. Deferred Maintenance
  3. Early Learning
  4. Education Alignment

2009 was the last time the Faribault Public School passed a bond issue.  It was for 15 million dollars of 30 million dollars of deferred maintenance Sesker said, "The other 15 million dollars has not been completed yet."

In 2017 the district went to the voters requesting 87 million dollars to complete the deferred maintenance projects and construct a new event center among other items.  It was soundly defeated.

The Faribault Public Schools Superintendent says the task force worked with Wold Architects and Engineers and after all the meetings they've been able to reduce the cost request from 87 million to 56 million dollars.  The event center is not included.

Sesker told city council members the construction costs went up 17 percent from last year to this year.

  • Making entrances to all school buildings in the district secure is a top priority.  In addition to security cameras and having entrances away from classrooms he said improving bus and parent traffic at Lincoln, McKinley and Jefferson is a recommendation of the task force.
  • Another is to remodel McKinley and make that the area learning center.
  • Construct a new early childhood education center east of the soccer fields across from the Faribault Middle School.
  • Take care of deferred maintenance projects throughout the district including the fire alarm systems in each of the buildings and boiler at the high school.

Those are just a few of the items outlined by Superintendent Sesker.  He says the School Board will discuss the recommendations at their meeting in mid-February.

Faribault Superintendent Todd Sesker at Faribault City Council Join Committee Meeting. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld