Its worse than anyone realized.
"With gross acreage at 26 acres, this leaves only 10.9 acres of ‘usable’ land. That is one fifth [20%] the size recommended and needed."
January 28, 2009
Alice Seagren, MDE
of you has position and responsibility to influence the outcome of the
know you have heard much about shortcomings of this site; they are not
imagined---they are real, and they each affect short range and long range needs
and success for one of our two major high schools.
of us have read or are aware of Minnesota Department of Education planning
standards, guidelines and recommendations. We
realize the value of MDE’s long years of experience, research and knowledge.
We believe it is important to adopt these standards, guidelines and
recommendations. Currently ISD 709
Administration is trying to avoid meeting these standards by requesting
variances and exceptions.
recommendation that is flagrantly being ignored at the Duluth Ordean site is
about minimum recommended site size. MDE
clearly states the minimum site size must be ‘useable’ land, and that
excludes such things as property line setbacks and code setbacks such as
this means is that this school will never be able to accommodate its necessary
functions, such as:
Future building expansion [MDE standards
highlight expansion needs three times in its first guideline paragraphs]
Safe and adequate on-site parking
[Avoiding off-site parking]
Outdoor activity spaces [lacking tennis,
practice fields, softball fields, additional baseball field, track/football
depending on setback permits]
Safe access and egress
[only 2 limited entry points for this major high school, both sharing
heavy thru-traffic streets]
Separation of vehicular and student
circulation and access spaces
Building setback from thru-traffic
Separated safe and adequate bus and
student drop & waiting areas
Limited entry & turn around on-site
bus circulation and parking [Separated from on-site student circulation]
Separation of thru traffic and school
On-site water collection and runoff
Acceptable and expected student safety and
security resulting from dense and close proximity to heavily traveled streets
and drives at this Ordean site. [Parents
have the right to expect safety and security for their children attending a
should be able to form positive forces within neighborhoods.
They can have a positive image and provide community use, pride and
values. This doesn’t happen when
thru-neighborhood traffic and off-street parking result from problems which need
to be solved during the initial site selection phase.
Even this important phase paid no attention to MDE’s recommendations to
accomplish site selection such as:
2.07 Selecting a School Site
Specify the spaces needed for current
school and community programs and for anticipated program EXPANSION.
Form a school site selection team composed
of school and district staff, parents, students, citizens, school-community
partners and local officials [e.g. city and county planners, park board].
section goes on to point out research and review local and regional planning and
zoning requirements and other good site selection considerations.
is clear that everything your department has recommended in terms of site
considerations and process has not been followed whether it deals with
size, expansion needs, site selection process, compliance with codes, parking,
athletic fields and more.
G. Worley, Landscape Architect
Compare Ordean high's current plans with a real high school whose construction was supervised by none other than Dr. Dixon.