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"This great new plan"

The District's latest on the glories of the Red Plan.

NOTE THIS CORRECTION.   Mr. Kaiser has said that some of the information reported here is inaccurate. The most obvious error is the report that Ordean is being built to accommodate 3,000 students. The Red Plan envisions two highs chools which together would house 3,000 students. 

These are the notes taken by an attendee at a presentation by JCI's Eric Kaiser (former Duluth principal) at a meeting 4/17/2009Italicized notes have been added by Art Johnston who observes that the notes confirm his worst fears. 

Eric Kaiser: Ordean (the new East High School) will be finished the fall of 2011. We are making lots of progress and the plans have been changed four times since the last school board committee meeting.

Classrooms will be 900 sq feet, which is state standard.

Special Ed classrooms will be 600 sq feet or more, and will have dedicated bus access from outside on the third floor, due to slope of building/rock.

There will be Smart Boards and White Boards in every room.

Each classroom will have locked cabinets for teachers' coats and supplies, and built in counter space.

All classrooms will be electronically cabled to allow the teacher's desk to be in any of four locations in any room.

HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air conditions] will in each room. The air will be coming in and rotating all around the rooms. This will be extremely quiet.

Every room will have climate controlled temperature and humidity with only 4 degree difference in any part of the building. But it is not air conditioning. [emphasis E. Kaiser] 

ISD709 has obviously been getting a lot of heat for adding air conditioning (AIC) in all the new Duluth Schools. They have been bending over backwards to try claim that they aren't spending tens of million of dollars to install Johnson Control air conditioning in all the buildings. East they are. There has been no testing of indoor air quality nor has there been an energy analysis of the increasing cost of this AICC AJ

All rooms will have natural light and new lighting systems. Even interior rooms with get natural light from beautifully designed atriums. 

All of these atrium and "natural light" systems will be very energy intensive because of high heat loss in the winter and high heat gain in the summer. With such designs, there is little likelihood of energy saving. AJ

There will be all new flooring in all rooms, and there will be hardwood flooring in the dance classrooms.

All doors will have electronic, card-controlled access. This will be a safe, controlled community. There will be security monitors throughout building.

There will be separation of traffic with bus routes separated with a turnaround, and an entrance to larger parking separated for parent drop off and student cars. The new Ordean HS will be near the planned Lakewalk extension so students will be able to walk to school instead of using cars. But we are still adding 75 more parking spaces in case some elect to drive.

Cafeterias will be larger and their architectural designs will be able to serve the community for occasions like weddings. They will be gated off from the rest of the school.

The roofs will be flat and some of the roofs will meet LEED "green roof' designs. The STC will be moved to each high school and these green roofs will be used for their greenhouses. 

Apparently, Nancy Nilsen's disdain of flat roofs was overruled. Green roofs are very expensive due to heavy loads, they are very leak prone (Nancy, get your buckets out), they are very expensive to fix, and usually used only in warmer climates. AJ

We aren't sure what we are going to use the existing swimming pool space for, but the existing pool will be eventually removed. We will be saving the water in the pools to use for gray water to flush the toilets in 2011. And we will get LEED points for that. This summer we will begin building the new swimming pool at the new East Middle School.

The school as designed will have 20% excess student capacity. We are planning for 3000 kids in the school. We are hoping to fill up the school with more kids that will be returning to Duluth Schools once their parents see how beautiful the new schools will be. 

20% excess capacity? Apparently the 1SD 709 forgot that a main justification of dismantling the current school system is because they claimed that the current buildings had 22% excess capacity so their size had to be reduced with new buildings. $293 million construction to reduce from 22% to 20% over capacity? Obviously there will be no cost savings here. -AI

Class sizes will be no more than 30 students.

There will be several 40-desk computer classrooms throughout the building and computer stations in every room.

The entire building will have WIFI (wireless connection) for any computer anywhere.

We don't know where the teachers' lounge will be, but it will be nice!

The architects are unsure where the lockers will be. The lockers will be in some kind of bank system.

Kaiser ended the meeting with this statement: "We found out today that Harry Welty has stated that there will be 2000 people at the next school board meeting, so you [staff] must promote this great new plan!"


If you care about Duluth and its schools 
don't put your faith in the Duluth News Tribune
The last word on the Red Plan can be found on Harry Welty's blog:
And if you're looking for some particular piece of information use the blog's search function.
You never can tell what you'll find.