Lynne Megan, John Shardlow, Aldo Sicoli
 
Roseville Schools Superintendent  Aldo Sicoli passed out brochures on building bond facts and discussed the upcoming bond referendum of $144 million on Nov. 7 at the Roseville Rotary Club on Oct. 30. Early voting has started.
The reasons for requesting more money are growing enrollment, outdated classrooms and community spaces, and aging buildings, Sicoli said. Enrollment of 7,545 students is the highest since 1983, having grown over18 percent since 2006 and projected to grow another 15 percent over the next 10 years.
 
Maintenance has been deferred on mechanical systems like heating, plumbing and ventilation, which are so outdated it’s sometimes hard to find parts for repairs.  Indoor air quality is poor at some schools. Yet, the schools are being used more than ever for after-school and other community activities.
 
In addition, science labs, swimming pools and other athletic facilities need work, -- he showed a few photos -- and improved security and safety are needed at student drop-off and pick-up points. All schools except Harambee are over 50 years old, he said.
 
Sicoli attributed some of the delayed maintenance to issues regarding 9-11 and the Great Recession but added district residents still pay less in school-based property taxes than any other metro district due to all the commercial development.
 
To see what the community wanted, the district has held several community meetings and surveys. Then the Building Bond Facts brochure laid out the needs of each school.
He said 83 to 84 percent of households in the district do not have children in the district. If that discourages people from voting, they should remember that good schools mean higher property values for homeowners.
 
“Our staff does well,” Sicoli said, “but we could do better with more money.”
 
John Shardlow from the “Yes” Committee said his group is working hard to get the word out about the district’s needs and to combat apathy.
 
Next week: Gary Nash on “American Veterans in All Wars.”