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Public input wanted for planned La Crescent school renovations

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La Crescent, MN (WXOW) -

The La Crescent-Hokah School District is looking for public input on major plans to improve their elementary school, a referendum for which failed three years ago.

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The newest addition to their facilities at the elementary school was built 30 years ago and school officials say there are failing systems that need to be replaced. On top of that, there have been calls for increased security in schools nationwide, and the dual level nature of the oldest part of the building - built in the 1950's - creates accessibility problems. Officials like Superintendent Kevin Cardille said plans to remodel on-site would cost up to $18.5 million, with a completely new building at the same site costing about $2 million more.

"It's not a lot of difference, but it's important I think if we're going to build here, if we can save some of what we have," Cardille said. "That $2 million could be used somewhere else to do something else that we need in the district too."

A recent investment of time and money from community partners helped put brand new playground equipment on site. Both plans, which are available to see on the district's website, would incorporate that into its design.

There are plans for improvements to the Middle/High School as well, which could cost between $13-17 million dollars. The district is asking La Crescent residents to complete a survey hosted on their web page. That will be available until Monday, August 13. Cardille said they would like to have a referendum on the ballot as early as next spring.

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