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Winona’s W-K Elementary awarded more than $300,000 for school safety

October 4, 2018

Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School in Winona will receive $316,447 in a school safety grant from the Minnesota Department of Education, the district announced Wednesday.

Winona Area Public Schools submitted six grant applications, one for each school in the district. The department received 1,187 applications in total, and W-K is one of 123 buildings across the state that will receive funding to fix what officials outlined as high-priority safety and security projects.

At W-K, those projects will include a secure vestibule made possible by renovating the main office, and improvements to security technologies like camera systems, door control, lock-down buttons and strobes, according to the district’s release.

“We are pleased to have received this grant. It’s a great benefit for our students and our taxpayers in the district,” said Sarah Slaby, director of finance, in the release. Slaby authored the grant application.

The district will submit a full work-plan and budget to the department of education in March.

The money will also offset some of the cost needed to complete the projects that are part of the district’s bond referendum, which will appear on voters’ ballots Nov. 6. The referendum, which would cost district taxpayers $9.4 million, sets aside $1.3 million for security updates to the elementary schools that included the construction of locked vestibules.

The bond would be rolled out over four years, meaning a relatively modest impact on taxpayers compared to the $82 million plan the district proposed the year prior, which voters rejected last November. The referendum on the table for this November would also fund updates to the accessibility and maintenance of schools in the district, some of which were built during the 1930s, and set the stage for a possible additional referendum that would be voted on in four years.

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