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      Grand Island Plans for School Growth

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      Having already identified up to $125 million in new school construction, the Grand Island School Board is meeting this weekend to talk about long-range needs.

      Much of their annual retreat is focused on facilities needs. The district has shown continued enrollment growth.

      School board members toured the Career Pathways Institute on Friday, as part of a weekend planning retreat.

      No one else in Nebraska has built a dedicated tech school like this, with different career options.

      Buildings and Grounds Director Dan Petsch said, "I'm a little envious because I wish they would've had programs like this when I was a kid, especially in construction. Grand Island's really going to benefit from facilities, get it operational."

      Another focus has been on open concept schools built in the '70s.

      "You have to walk through classrooms to get from point A to point B," finance director Virgil Harden said previously.

      Security was a concern at those schools, and has been of heightened interest following the school shooting at Sandy Hook in Connecticut.

      Grand Island is considering other facilities as well, like an Early Learning Center for the district preschool.

      A second high school is also up for discussion, with a possible price tag of around $50 million.

      These are very much long-range goals. But they have begun talking about the need for a bond election, something that may begin to take shape this weekend during their planning session.

      The school board retreat is March 22 and 23 at Riverside Country Club.

      Agenda:

      Friday March 22nd
      3:00 pm - tour CPI
      4:00 pm - review long range planning from 2012 Retreat
      5:30 pm - introduction to vision and values
      7:30 pm - vision and values - what's next
      8:30 pm - adjourn

      Saturday March 23rd
      8:00 – 8:30 am - breakfast 8:30 am - long range facility discussion 12:45 pm - review work to date, next steps 1:30 pm - adjourn

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