Proposing a new middle school in SW Rochester

Rochester Public Schools is now joining with the city to make room for more students. It's the latest step in addressing overcrowding issues but not all parents are happy about it.

Posted: Jun 3, 2019 11:28 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. -

On 40th Street Southwest, Rochester Public Schools is looking at purchasing 146 acres of land. The area is known as the 'Hart Farm Property.'

Some parents are thrilled neither by the location nor the proposed size of the school.

"This school that they are proposing in Southwest, I think could be our designated school and that is definitely not within a reasonable biking or walking rate," Angela Gupta, a parent, said. "It is aso quite a bit larger than the schools my kids currently go to."

Gupta has two kids at Rochester Public Schools and wants the Board to start over.

"So I think we need to really stand up as a community and say we know there's a problem and we want a good solution to that problem," Gupta said. "Some of that will be voting no on the November referendum."

But other parents think the School District is on the right track. Ken Hale wants to enroll his children in Rochester Public Schools and is glad to see a plan forming.

"I think at some point in the not-too-distant future, we would have to build some more schools," Hale said.

He thinks the proposed school site is just fine.

"I know there's a fair amount of space out that way," Hale said. "I suspect the city will continue to grow in that direction."

Gupta and Hale both agree overcrowding is a real problem, though they might differ on how to address the issue.

"We need to really work together as a community to try to solve the problem for the benefit of our community in the long run," Gupta said.

The referendum is scheduled to take place in November of this year.

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