IVANHOE, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Dear Editor:
Here we go again. I do not believe that the letter to the editor section is the place to conduct a long debate but occasionally a letter shows up that is so outrageous that it must be answered. Oh how I hate long letters.
Once again John Thomsen needs to check his facts. This time he is so far off base that it is borderline ridiculous. Lets look at each of his points leaving number 1. as the last point.
2.The fire marshal's report is about two months old. When was the fire suppression (sprinkler) system installed?
How many fire doors are there? How old is the wiring? Have you repaired the roof that was leaking last winter?
Other items not in the Fire Marshal's report but required by the Americans with Disabilities Act would include automatic doors for the handicapped, two elevators to the second floor, handicapped accessible bathrooms, wheel chair ramps, and all doors would have to wide enough to allow a person in a wheel chair to go through. This is just the start of a very long list. John Thomsen; you cannot convince anyone that the Hendricks School has done all of this.
3. R. J. Fleet was so wrong that his comment doesn't need much consideration. There are no students to recruit and if there were available students the last thing we want is put them into a 100-year-old building. Perhaps the school board should cruise around the county each morning and kidnap any kids standing by the road and keep them until they graduate. The best solution is to instantly double the student population by Ivanhoe and Lake Benton consolidating and building a new school.
4. I agree that the joint Ivanhoe and Lake Benton School District would be liable for the entire amount of bond money but neither community would be liable for the entire amount alone.
5. John Thomsen is correct when he states that no grant money comes without conditions. In the case of the new school this condition is energy efficiency and energy efficiency has already been incorporated into the design. The idea that the school would build wind towers and study wind power is more of John Thomsen's vivid imagination.
The proposal was to lease school property to a wind power company and let them build wind towers and they would pay the school for the use of the land. This requires no teachers or equipment. Please get real on this point.
6. If we send all of the Lake Benton students to RTR you better believe that the RTR School District will insist on absorbing the Lake Benton District and then we can help pay millions for a new school in Tyler.
7. Yes Lynd tuitioned out to Marshall and I'll bet that they are now part of the Marshall School District and paying dearly for the new school in Marshall.
8. As I said in point five there are conditions and we should expect them. The nice part is that the design of the new school meets these conditions.
9. I doubt that a reputable like Kraus-Anderson would either dare or try to inflate estimates. If they are not going to build the school they have no reason to do so and doing such could destroy their hard earned good reputation. The cost seems high only because state laws require that the pay scale for major public projects be at the state union rate.
10. Once again get real John Thomsen. Paved parking lots are in the new school design. The unpaved lot is behind the existing school in Lake Benton and this area would not have to be paved if a new school is built.
11. New schools may not be the answer, but a sure road to failure is to try to maintain school buildings that are almost 100 years old.
12. Lake Benton and Ivanhoe are not Dawson-Boyd, Echo, or Milroy. What was good for them may not be good for Ivanhoe and Lake Benton.
13.If Lake Benton and Ivanhoe consolidate I feel that it would be safe to say that the curriculum in the school would be superior and better than most of the schools in this area. As to the loss of jobs, one school will not need as many teachers and staff as two.
I hate to see any person lose their job, but this always happens in the consolidation process. Be assured that the teaching staff in a consolidated school will be far larger than the staff in either existing school. This will enable the school to provide more courses and provide the student body with a curriculum and education is that is better than anything available anywhere in this area.
14. Lets look at the real financial situation. The 20+++++miliion dollars is another figment of John Thomsen's imagination. The real cost is 16 million dollars. If we get grant money the cost would be between 11 million and 13.5 million dollars. The total cost of repairing the Ivanhoe and Lake Benton buildings is 11.4 million dollars (5.5 million for Ivanhoe and 5.9 million for Lake Benton). We would be fools for investing that much in buildings that are almost 100 years old and deteriorating.
15. Now to point 1. It just seems as though John Thomsen is for anything except the consolidation of Ivanhoe and Lake Benton with a new school building. I can only wonder why he would like Lake Benton go anywhere except with Ivanhoe. John Thomsen states that Hendricks has no desire to consolidate. Then he needs to understand that consolidation and building a new school is up to the voters of Lake Benton and Ivanhoe and not him. If Hendricks is not interested in consolidation John Thomsen should not care what Ivanhoe and Lake Benton do and is cordially invited to butt out and mind his own business.
Lake Benton MN
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