April 5: Update on school district construction and growth

Rotarian Brett Johnson introduced DeeDee Kahring, director of finance and operations for Eastern Carver County Schools. Kahring also is a member of the Chanhassen Rotary Club. She provided an update on the school district and construction projects. Eastern Carver County Schools serves the communities of Carver, Chaska, Victoria and Chanhassen. Pupil attendance is now 9,578 and is growing about 100 to 150 students each year. There are 19 buildings with 2.2 million square feet of floor space on 410 acres of land with a staff of 1,400. This all requires about $160 million a year in funds provided mostly by the state, but also property taxes county residents.

Ms. Kahring showed slides that illustrated the improvements and new construction associated with Clover Ridge Elementary, Victoria Elementary, the new 50 meter pool at Pioneer Ridge Middle School, the domed artificial turf facility in Chaska, and the beautiful new Carver Elementary School. The state of the art facility is built to enable great flexibility in use and design, and support better learning environments with movable tables, chairs, partitions, and sound-proofing. (One aging observer in the club couldn’t help but wonder at the difference between today’s schools and when we were in school with desks bolted to the floor and seated always according to alphabetical order!) The award-winning Budget Report of the school district is available at www.district112 org/finance.