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HERMANTOWN - In Hermantown it is clear the schools are not getting any younger.
"All of the schools have certain facility needs," Hermantown Middle School Principal Kerry Juntunen said.
Juntunen said that out of all the district's schools, the middle school has the most needs.
That includes classroom sizes that do not meet Minnesota Department of Education standards.
"In this older part of the building and by state standards they should be about another third size," Juntunen said. "We're looking at needing about 900 square feet and right now we're at 600 square feet."
The school was built through multiple additions dating back to 1937.
Juntunen explained that each area has different concerns.
He says the boiler room is outdated and has water leaking in.
The cafeteria doubles as a gymnasium and has the scars to prove it.
An activities room has been blocked off after flood water left mold behind.
Problems like these are what brought an advisory group together to look into what could be done in the future.
"Some of the options we're looking at is what can we do with this middle school, it seems to be the whole crux of the situation as we move forward," Blaine Peterson from the Facilities and Planning Committee said.
A presentation of the group's findings after several months of meetings drew a large crowd to the middle school Monday night.
The group offered several options of what could be done with district facilities, including the elementary school and high school.
The school board will now consider those options.
The hope is that this new approach will work more effectively than a proposed referendum four years ago that was turned down by 82 percent of voters.
"Last time there were a whole bunch of us who really were passionate about the need for a different facility," Juntunen said. "But the reality of it was we didn't really have the kind of expertise or the manpower to put it together."
Juntunen is hoping this approach works differently and says it is not as if the schools are awful, but that there is certainly room to grow.
"Educational adequacy is extremely important," Juntunen said.
The school board can now decide if it would like to move forward with one of the district facility plans presented Monday night.
All of them suggest tearing down the current middle school.
Future steps would include community input and eventually a referendum left up for a vote.