In 1982, the Barnum School District opened its doors to a brand new high school. It was a modern, state of the art facility in which we were going to educate our children and enjoy both athletic competition and the arts. The Barnum High School was an investment in the future of our children, and was supported by our votes and our tax dollars. It was, and still is, a source of pride for our District.
It is now 2014 and the Barnum High School is no longer brand new, but thanks to the excellent care and maintenance from our custodians and groundskeepers, and the continued support of Barnum’s voters, the building and grounds remain a great place to educate our students and enjoy athletic events and the arts.
Why, then, should our District consider remodeling and adding on to our High School?
- How our students are taught and learn today is not the same as it was in 1982. In 1982, one of the largest departments in the High School was the Business Department, which consisted of a lecture classroom, a typing classroom, and a smaller classroom filled with office machines. Today, the Business Department utilizes only computers and software in one of the smallest High School Classrooms.
- When the High School was built in 1982, the building was designed to comply with the educational trend of an open school concept, which allowed students to move freely between learning and subject areas. Removable walls were installed between the classrooms to provide this option; however, Barnum decided not to follow the open classroom concept. The temporary walls are not soundproof. Being able to clearly hear what is happening in the adjoining classroom makes teaching and learning difficult for both classrooms. These temporary walls would be replaced in the proposed remodel.
- The auditorium at the High School currently has seating for 266 people. This may have been adequate in 1982, but it no longer meets our needs. The proposed design increases the seating to 417, which is enough to accommodate the entire high school student body. This will also provide comfortable seating for community events like plays, concerts and meetings.
- Even with the addition of the 1997 Elementary School gymnasium, gym space is insufficient. For example, we currently have 73 seventh graders. During their physical education class, it is not safe for all 73 students to be on the floor at one time. The students have to take turns sitting on the sideline and watching as the other half of the class participates. The proposed new gym will provide additional physical education and athletic practice space, and will enable Community Education to once again schedule Open Gym Nights for our community’s families.
- Since 1982, there have been three additions to the Barnum Elementary School to accommodate student growth, but no corresponding space has been added for these students at the High School. The open enrollment of students from other districts is partially responsible for this growth, but our own resident student numbers have increased as well.
- The Barnum School District has 173 open enrolled students, and 77 of Barnum’s resident students open enroll to other school districts. This creates a net increase of approximately 100 students who open enroll to Barnum.
- Only Barnum’s School District residents pay for Barnum’s school buildings through property tax dollars. Parents who open enroll their children in Barnum’s school do not pay for Barnum’s school buildings, but they still must pay property taxes for the school in the community in which they reside.
- For each open enrolled student choosing to be educated in Barnum, the Barnum School District receives $5,806 in State Aid from the State of Minnesota. The school district in which the parents of the open enrolled student reside receives $5,806 less in State Aid.
In 1982, we chose to invest in our students and community by building a new high school. If the Barnum School Board determines on May 20, 2014, to place the High School Building/Remodeling Project on the Tuesday, August 12, 2014, Primary Ballot, you will, once again, have the opportunity to invest in our students and community.