In 2014, after listening to needs presented by community members and staff, the Dassel-Cokato School Board developed a district goal to increase opportunities for students in Career and Technical Education (CTE) areas. The last major step in meeting this goal is addressing facility and equipment needs.
The bond referendum brought to voters in 2017 encompassed:
- expanding the middle school industrial technology room
- remodeling and updating the high school FACS
- remodeling and updating the industrial technology spaces
- remodeling and updating the media center
- remodeling and updating the business areas
- adding a building to house the ALC agricultural education programming
The bond referendum did not pass in 2017.
On November 6, 2018 voters approved an operating levy providing money used for day-to-day operating expenses such as:
- teacher salaries
- classroom supplies
- transportation costs
The referendum's second question addressed:
- expanding CTE facilities
- finishing the multi-purpose building
- further securing entrances at all the schools
- updating the swimming pool's mechanical systems
The operating levy successfully passed but the bond did not.
Following the failed bond referendum in 2018, the school district enlisted the help of widespread community groups to reassess the district's needs.
- Architects and staff engaged in discussions to reassess facility usage and needs.
- Community member groups consisting of business owners, senior citizens, parents of school-age children, civic leaders, and commercial/ag farm owners met several times to discuss proposed plans and either create support or modified solutions.
- The groups created a list of recommended projects brought forward to the school board in February of 2020.
Unfortunately, the pandemic that began a couple of weeks later halted any additional progress.
In 2022, the school district restarted the planning process.
Restarting the planning process will reassess CTE's existing needs.
The planning process will also broaden the scope to address any additional areas in order to satisfy the long-term needs of many building facilities. Even though many of the needs are still prevalent, the school district has been able to make some progress using Long Term Facility Maintenance funds.
Using Long Term Facilities Maintenance and Lease Levy funds, the school district has had the opportunity to complete several facilities projects over the past few years.
- Dassel-Cokato Middle School added an entrance vestibule to further secure the building.
- Dassel Elementary added an entrance vestibule to further secure the building.
- The south and west parking lots were taken down to the dirt and redone.
- The swimming pool's HVAC system was replaced and the space was painted and received new wall tiles.
- The ALC building moved to a new location, providing increased opportunities and ample space.
- The district received $1 million from the state to help put flooring into the rec. center.