Two years ago, when long-range facility needs of the Saint Peter Public School District were first discussed, it was the intention of the school board and administration to get as much public input as possible during that process.
After enlisting the public’s help as part of the Facilities Task Force and seeking public opinion through last winter’s phone survey, the school district is set to take the next step through the use of a charrette process. The process will be conducted through two public meetings. The first was held on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The second will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the SPMS/HS Theater and cafeteria.
By definition, a charrette is an intense period of designing or planning. In the case of Saint Peter Public Schools, it pertains to site plans and space/property use for a possible future high school and the current three buildings (Saint Peter Middle/High School, North Intermediate and South Elementary).
“The meetings are open to the public and we encourage people to get involved,” Saint Peter Superintendent Paul Peterson said. “From the very beginning [of our long-range facilities plan], our board of education has always said that any sort of large-scale facilities planning must be geared towards community-designed, multi-use space.”
Current and projected enrollment increases for Saint Peter Public Schools, well into the future, have caused the district to take a closer look at the need for a new high school building and for repurposing the district’s existing three main buildings.
Peterson explained during these charrette meetings, those in attendance will start in the theater as one large group and eventually move into the cafeteria for smaller group discussions. These will be stations that have a specific focus area -- for example, academic learning in a new high school building and the co-curricular needs of the school and St. Peter community
“Our big picture goal for the charrette is two-fold,” Peterson said. “First, we want to provide an update on where we are at in our facilities planning process. There has been a lot of progress since the Facilities Task Force completed their work in the summer of 2013, and it’s important that our community sees that progress.
“Second, it’s crucial that we engage our stakeholders in discussions about our community’s vision for a new high school facility. Our commitment is to a community-centered space and collecting community-wide input and insight is the next step in our process.”
Those interested in taking part in the charrette process are asked to contact the Superintendent’s Office at 934-5703.
“This is an ‘all hands on deck’ endeavor’. We welcome all comments, questions and concerns and our plan is to use this process to develop consensus on the vision for public education in St. Peter,” Peterson stated.