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Cook County Schools Launches Informational Website to Keep Residents Informed About Facilities Planning

VikingsVision.org will be regularly updated with information about the district’s efforts to identify needed maintenance and improvements to its buildings.

GRAND MARAIS, MINN. -– Cook Coun­ty Schools has launched a dedicated website aimed at keeping residents up to date on its ef­forts to maintain and improve its school build­ings.

The district has been working with ICS, a leading K-12 building consultant, since Spring 2023 to complete comprehensive assessments of the condition and educational adequacy of its school buildings. The results of these as­sessments and projections of the district’s fu­ture budget and enrollment will help leaders proactively plan for future maintenance and other improvements to its schools.

In addition to the assessments, the district has held ten community listening sessions with staff, students, and community members to learn what aspects of the buildings could be improved. Last month, the district retained Duluth-based architecture firm, DSGW, to ex­amine these results and develop potential im­provement options.

“We have a responsibility to ensure our learn­ing spaces meet the needs of students,” said Chris Lindholm, superintendent. “This process is helping us prioritize future improvements and develop plans to make them a reality.”

Currently, VikingsVision.org includes prelim­inary results from the building assessments which identified several areas in need of fu­ture improvement such as a lack of a common and multi-purpose gathering space, undersized secondary classrooms, a shortage of physical education space, and storage space in class­rooms.

VikingsVision.org will be updated regularly throughout the coming months as the facilities planning process continues.

“We recognize that not everyone might be able to make a listening session or a school board meeting, so it’s our responsibility to find oth­er ways to keep our residents involved and up to date,” said Lindholm. “We hope this site serves as a helpful resource for residents to stay informed and engaged.”

District residents can submit questions or feedback about the district’s work to evaluate its buildings at VikingsVision.org/connect, or by contacting Superintendent Chris Lindholm at (email) clindholm@isd166.org  or 218-387- 2271 ext. 612.

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