Ad-hoc committee to meet on auditoriums

An ad-hoc committee of the Elk River Area School Board has scheduled two community conversations for the purpose of gathering information on the support of new performing arts/auditoriums at Rogers and Zimmerman high schools.

The community conversations and initiatives will be volunteer-driven and are not associated with any school district ballot issues.

The Community Conversations are both scheduled for 7 p.m. The first is Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Rogers Middle School and the second is Thursday, Sept. 27 at Zimmerman Middle/High School. The conversations are free and are open to all interested citizens.

Neither school has a performing arts center nor auditorium. Voters approved the construction of a scaled-down Rogers High School in 2000. In 2004 and 2007, the district proposed an auditorium as part of two different bonds; however, neither had the support of voters.

Zimmerman High School is a shared facility using a middle school plan. Voters were asked in 2007 to build a new stand-alone high school; however, that bond question also did not pass.

School Board Chair Jolene Jorgensen has heard from numerous individuals and groups across all communities in the district that they are interested in conversations that could lead to performing arts centers/auditoriums at both schools.

The School Board agreed May 30 not to place a bond question for these initiatives on the Nov. 6 ballot, but instead to form an ad-hoc committee to look for commitments from the communities and possible alternative funding sources.

These conversations are in alignment with district strategic objectives of continually engaging in experiences that benefit the community and articulating dreams and creating and carrying out plans to achieve those dreams. The conversations will follow a set agenda, which includes:

•Recruiting and assembling invested volunteers from all communities;

•Creating a unified Rogers/Zimmerman community-driven committee;

•Defining needs and goals and creating a unified plan;

•Investigating private and public funding opportunities;

•Research legislative assistance and;

Following the district’s Strategic Plan.

Rogers Middle School is located at 20855 141st Ave., Rogers. Zimmerman Middle/High School is located at 25900 Fourth St. W., Zimmerman. For additional information, contact the following school board members by e-mail:

Jolene Jorgensen — jolene.jorgensen@elkriver.k12.mn.us

Sue Farber — sue.farber@elkriver.k12.mn.us

Tony Walter — tony.walter@elkriver.k12.mn.us.

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