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Ellsworth schools' facilities committee finds deficiencies

After six months, 14 meetings and 30 hours of gathering information, the ad hoc facilities committee presented their findings to the Ellsworth School Board Monday.

In a presentation they explained was drawn from 60 photos supporting those findings, the 20-some-member committee concluded the district lacks facilities providing for its children's expanding educational needs for today and the future. Paul Bauer, who along with Susan Beck, Dave Berg, Mike Runyon and Julie Lundstrom delivered various parts of the presentation, praised district personnel for what they've done with what they have, but said their observations show there's a problem.

Other members of the committee were also in attendance as the recommendation was made that the board move forward with professionals to further study avenues and costs of addressing the many facility needs of the district. Superintendent Barry Cain indicated he'll work with board members to find a suitable date for a special meeting to act on the recommendation.

"Great buildings don't make great schools, but it sure helps," Cain said, noting he's seen other schools' facilities and the local ones are "woefully inadequate" in comparison.

The committee categorized its findings into three areas: insufficient educationally appropriate space, inadequate building access, safety and security, and aging facilities, mechanical infrastructure and transportation.

Read more in the print version of the Herald Nov. 14.

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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