There are great changes already happening for the Minot Public School District, and there are no doubt many more substantial changes on the horizon.
Repairs and renovations are under way at Longellow Elementary, there are plans to expand Lewis and Clark Elementary and preliminary work has begun on building a new Erik?Ramstad Middle School.
But beyond that, the district faces the liklihood of a growing student population, and that means the potential for more school buildings. Because of that, the school board is at least discussing the idea of asking voters to approve a bond referendum that would help finance new school projects.
Given Minot's current situation, asking residents for more money couldn't come at a worse time. Ward County is moving ahead with plans to put a request for a county-wide half-cent sales tax on the ballot in November. Adding another bond to help fund school projects would be another fee incurred by area residents, many who are still struggling to recover from the flood of 2011.
We know the school district's needs are real and its concerns are happening right now. Many schools are already overcrowded and using portable classrooms, and sections of Minot are expected to experience quick increases in population, which means more students at already crowded schools. If the city's population continues to grow, and everyone expects it to do just that, the school district has no choice to but to respond accordingly and that means more classrooms, more teachers and more staff.
The timing certainly isn't great, but the reality is impossible to ignore.