The Eden Prairie School Board got its first look March 22 at a proposed $38.4 million capital expenditure budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The board will vote on the proposal at its April 26 meeting.
Proposed expenditures include $22.7 million to complete the ongoing Central Middle School construction project, which includes major upgrades throughout the school, including cafeteria, gymnasiums, classrooms, a new outdoor running track, and a new performing arts center.
Part of that money – $11.8 million – comes from the Designing Pathways referendum. The rest is being paid from the long-term facility maintenance (LTFM) fund, which is funded by bond sales and an annual levy.
Two Eden Prairie high school turf fields are scheduled to be replaced as part of a $1.03 million LTFM budget allocation, according to Jason Mutzenberger, executive director of business services.
A new science curriculum purchase accounts for a portion of $2.5 allocated to personalized learning and instruction.
Other proposed capital expenditures for 2021-22 include:
Cedar Ridge Elementary – $262,000
Eden Lake Elementary – $155,000
Forest Hills Elementary – $490,000
Prairie View Elementary – $64,000
Oak Point Elementary/Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion – $721,600 (see below for details)
Administrative Services Center – $105,000
School buses and other vehicles – $480,000
Most of the expenditures come out of the LTFM budget, which can include playground equipment, replacement flooring, gym floor refinishing, roofing, paving, parking lot repairs, and door and hardware replacement.
Probationary teachers terminated
Eighty-two probationary teachers’ contracts were terminated by the board as of the end of this school year. The action, under Minnesota Statute 122.40, took place as part of the superintendent’s consent agenda.
“The release of probationary teachers at the March board meeting is a standard component of our district staffing process as we prepare for the next school year,” Senior Director of Communications and Community Relations Brett Johnson told EPLN.
Under Minnesota law, the first three years of a teacher’s first teaching experience in the state in a single district are considered to be probationary. During the probationary period, a district has the option of renewing or not renewing a teacher’s contract. The board must notify terminated teachers by July 1. Teachers may request an explanation for their nonrenewal.
Terminated teachers represent all eight of the district’s school buildings, EP Online and two district positions. Here is a full list here:
In other action at its March 22 meeting, the board:
- Calendar development process group, heard an update on the development of a new group consisting of 12 members, including parents and teachers as well as representatives of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Islamic faiths. Two Buddhist temples were invited but were not able to participate, according to Stacie Stanley, associate superintendent of academics and innovation. No students responded to an original request for participation, but will be asked again. The group’s mission is not intended to design the calendar, but to discuss the process that is used, Stanley said. The group met for the first time on March 24 with a contracted facilitator and will meet again on April 6, 27 and May 3. The first reading of the 2022-23 calendar will occur at the May board meeting with final adoption in June.
- approved seeking bids for an Oak Point Elementary School/Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion construction project. The project includes renovation of classrooms for preschool students, relocation of the school’s main office, adding a health room, and creating a secure entrance with welcome desk at the school’s lower doors. Preschool students will attend classes at elementary school buildings starting this fall. Funds for the project are coming from LTFM revenue and the Designing Pathways referendum. The proposed capital expenditure budget in 2021-22 for Oak Point totals $700,000. The project is scheduled to be completed this summer.
- accepted a bid of $356,828 to renovate classrooms and office space, adding a secure entrance with welcome desk, and renovating Community Education offices at the district’s Lower Campus. This project results from the December 2021 end of the district’s 45,000 square foot lease of the Education Center from the City of Eden Prairie. Community Education programs and staff will return to district-owned property at the Lower Campus. Funding for the project comes from a variety of sources, including LTFM revenue, and budgeted general and capital funds. The project is scheduled to start this spring and be completed by August 2021.
- approved a two-year contract between the district and the Eden Prairie Preschool Education Association (EPPEA) that included a 6 percent salary increase over two years. The contract period covered was July 2018 through June 2020. Staff members in the group have been working under a previous contract since July 2018 as negotiations continued. Contract terms were recently reached and negotiations are underway for the current contract period, according to Johnson.