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Charlene King, Published September 28 2011

Casselton school plan deserves ‘no’

Central Cass School District residents will make an important decision Thursday, deciding if they want to approve a $4.8 million referendum that will expand the school in Casselton by more than 31,000 square feet.

I don’t have kids in the school, but as a small farmer, the vote could have a significant impact on my taxes. After watching the local debate for a while, I decided to take up a teacher’s offer to show me around the school so I could make a better decision on my own.

After taking that tour, I do agree that there are some space problems at the Central Cass School. I saw that some mandated classes are being held in “makeshift” areas that are far too crowded. But, during the tour, I had a chance to study the plans more thoroughly than I originally had, and to get answers to additional questions.

I believe I confirmed my first inclination to vote “no,” but this “no” vote will be for different reasons than I first had. I am still against the additional two gymnasiums, but I’m more concerned that we’re just putting a “Band-Aid” on classroom space shortage. With the plan, it still appears there will be no more room for classroom expansion. I’d rather not be having this community debate again in a few years, and I’d like to get it right the first time.

I’m voting “no” and asking the Central Cass School Board to have the architects go back to the drawing board to give us a plan that better provides for the education of the kids going to school here.