Day care discussions continue, but solution remains elusive

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There are four options for adding day care for infants and toddlers to Benson Public Schools, Supt. Dennis Laumeyer told the board of education at its meeting Feb. 21.

It can build a new building, buy and renovate a current building in the community, lease a building, or remodel space it has in its buildings.

Adding six classrooms onto the west side of the Northside Elementary that would provide space for expanded day care classes would cost an estimated $3.2 million. However, another $2.1 million would need to be spent adding a new kitchen and cafeteria at the Northside. That cafeteria would free up the Northside’s gymnasium space, which is currently used for breakfast and lunch. It would also provide a multi-purpose community room that could be used for a variety of events.

The Running’s building, which used to house Do-Mat’s grocery store, could be leased for around $37,000 a year, but would require $500,000 in upgrade.

Buying a building that currently has some open space next to it and renovating it would cost in the neighborhood of $630,000.

Using current space in the Junior High School would cost about $454,000 in renovation costs and $41,000 in start up costs – it is the cheapest option, Laumeyer said.

There are only two places a day care operation for infants and toddlers can be housed in the district to comply with state fire marshal requirements, the school board was told. One area is the lower level of the Junior High and the other is the Northside Elementary. Northside is not an option, however, unless some students now at Northside are moved to the Junior High.

To accommodate those elementary kids at the Junior High might mean using the area that is now the indoor swimming pool for classrooms....


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