As Wrenshall School Deteriorates, Referendum Modified

Facilities Committee Meets with Community to Discuss Changes to Referendum

WRENSHALL, Minn.- Talks continue about a proposed referendum in Wrenshall’s School District.

Last year, voters turned down a $12.5 million referendum. But the district is bringing back a $13 million referendum.

Some who voted no last year were still for a referendum and remodel, but the terms pulled voters in opposite directions.

“Well I’ll tell you what last time I was on the no vote,” said Facilities Committee member, and Co-Chair of the Unite Wrenshall organization, Jack Eudy.

“I was actually part of the opposition on the last referendum. I didn’t feel that it covered enough of the fixing. The wants and the needs and what was practical and actually needed.”

The basic issue is the restoration of certain elements of the school building, including improving air quality, treating asbestos, and improving ventilation. As these issues multiply, the school runs the risk of falling out of code, and closing.

But as the school serves both Wrenshall and neighboring Carlton, some Carlton residents feel they’re getting the short end of the stick. They worry that the burden of cost will fall on them, with tax increases.

So many residents push for consolidation of Wrenshall and the schools in Carlton, as they have been for years.

“When you’ve got two schools that are 4.5 mi apart, before we spend money I would rather spend it in a logical progression,” said Brad Borgelt, who opposes this referendum.

“Carlton and Wrenshall, they’ve gotta merge.”

Regardless of what is done in relation to Carlton, students attending Wrenshall are still feeling the effects.

“My son, our son is in the 6th grade here,” said Lisa Clarke, fellow Co-Chair of Unite Wrenshall and member of the Facilities Committee.

“His classroom, it’s his first week in class I think the 6th day in their class. He has developed a heat rash on his back and his legs. The classroom is 80–85 degrees.”

After hearing from the Carpenter’s Union and being promised support from several local businesses, the new $13 million referendum will be voted upon again in the November general election.

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