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Expansion planned at Parkview

Parkview Elementary School will likely get bigger in 2015 to keep up with an enrollment that is expected to top 1,000 by the 2017-18 school year.

School board members gave early support at a Monday workshop meeting to a plan that would add a 14,058 square feet to the building by July of 2015 and possibly another 15,166 square feet in a second phase somewhere down the road.

School board members did not vote on the expansion Monday but gave staff members approval to continue working on plans.

Elementary education director Julie Olson said the growth at Parkview is part of a larger trend in the south and east parts of the district. That growth also means the district can’t simply shift Parkview students to other nearby schools like Rosemount Elementary because those schools are also near capacity.

“You’re bursting at the seams,” board chair Rob Duchscher said.

Fixing Parkview’s enrollment with boundary changes would mean moving students around districtwide.

“We don’t have any easy solution,” Olson said. “We have issues on that whole south and east side in particular, and it’s something we don’t see going away.”

The proposed Parkview expansion would cost an estimated $4.1 million and add six classrooms and associated hallway space. It would also new space for a cafeteria/multi-purpose room and a kitchen.

The district is limited in its expansion plans because it plans to pay for the expansion, if it goes forward, with lease levy money. The state limits lease levy projects to 20 percent of a building’s overall space.

Finance director Jeff Solomon said paying for the expansion would add less than $3 per month to the taxes of a typical district homeowner.

The project’s second phase could include two more classrooms, a music space, an expanded office and a bigger gymnasium.

Even if the expansion project goes forward Parkview is likely to outgrow its current capacity before work is done. Board members supported the idea of adding two portable classrooms to handle the expanded enrollment until the new space is done.

Adding portables would go against moves the district has made in recent years to remove the temporary class spaces. The district removed its final portable classroom from Rosemount High School over the summer.

Finance director Jeff Solomon expects the school board to make a formal decision on the expansion by March. Construction would start in November and be done by August of 2015.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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