Local school district bursting at the seams - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Local school district bursting at the seams

ALTURA, MN (FOX 47) -- Lewiston Altura school district officials say they have been crowding more students than is reasonable into spaces that are too small and are now turning to the taxpayers.

"This is about 600 square feet ,maybe a little bit more - about the size of some people's living rooms."

The band room at the Lewiston Altura Intermediate School is just one of many areas in need of renovation.

"Trying to fit about 50 students in this room - that poses a problem, I'm sure."

"It poses a big problem because they've also got their instruments," says Superintendent Dr. Bruce Montplaisir.

The Lewiston Altura School District is asking for around $3.3 million from taxpayers to renovate the Intermediate School and add on 18,000 square feet, as well as an additional $1 million to build the addition in a manner that is highly efficient to operate.

Montplaisir says, "It's an investment in the future. And we're going to be investing whether we do it by providing a nice facility for the kids and spaces for the kids to be educated, or we do it by leasing out buildings here and there or bring in portable classrooms."

The two-part bond referendum will be on the ballot this Election Day in the Lewiston Altura district, but not everyone is for it.

Richard Mussel says schools in general don't spend their money wisely and that's why they're forced to turn to the taxpayers.

Mussel says, "We can't afford to pay the teachers, we can't afford to pay the help but yet we find enough money to keep the sports going for one more year."

Mussel doesn't have any kids in the school system and come Election Day might vote no.

"Are you going to vote for this bond referendum or no?"

"Well I haven't really made up my mind yet," he says.

To find out just how your taxes will be effected if the bond passes.

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