After angry, tearful testimony from dozens of parents earlier this month, the Wayzata school board postponed its vote on new boundary lines and is scheduled to take action Monday.
The board was expected to vote last week but decided to hold a community meeting to get more feedback on the proposed changes.
In changes recommended by a parent committee, nearly 600 students — mostly at elementary schools — would be moved to new schools in fall 2019. They represent about 5 percent of students in the growing district.
Officials say that redrawing boundaries is needed to alleviate overcrowding at some schools, as well as to fill new classrooms at a ninth elementary school that's being built this summer in the wake of a successful $70 million referendum last fall.
The board is slated to vote at 7 p.m. Monday on the boundary line changes at a special meeting at Wayzata High School, 4955 Peony Lane N., Plymouth.
The 11,500-student district — which draws students from parts of Corcoran, Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minnetonka, Orono, Plymouth and Wayzata — expects another 1,000 new homes to be built by 2020 in the area, where new home construction is surging.
City gets state grant to remodel fire stations
Excelsior has received a state grant of nearly $134,000 to create sleeping rooms for volunteer and paid on-call firefighters at its two fire stations. The remodeling will allow the department to implement a 24/7 duty crew.
The funding came from the State Fire Marshal Division, which awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to several metro county fire departments last week.
Corcoran also received $33,000 for a comprehensive fire service study to help determine the most efficient way to serve residents; the city now contracts with three different fire departments.
"The resources of many local fire departments are stretched thin, and these grants will help departments find ways to better serve their communities," said State Fire Marshal Bruce West.
Council tables vote on tall development
The Edina City Council last week held off on approving a development project on France Avenue that has faced stiff opposition from some neighbors.
The mixed-use project, designed by DJR Architecture, would be on the northwest corner of France Avenue and Gallagher Drive. It would be six to seven stories and include 135 apartment units, 320 underground parking spaces and 19,000 square feet of ground-level retail and office space. About 20 percent of the units would be affordable to those making 60 percent of the area median income, according to city documents.
The site now is occupied by a three-story office building and a parking ramp in need of repair, according to Community Development Director Cary Teague.
The city's Planning Commission and staffers had recommended amending the comprehensive plan, but the council agreed to postpone the final vote until June 5. The city's comprehensive plan suggests capping buildings at four stories.
Dozens of Edina residents packed the council chambers, many wearing red stickers that read "STOP 7250," referring to the address of the project. More than 20 people spoke about the project during a public hearing that took 90 minutes.
Forum scheduled on library renovation
Southdale Library, a branch of the Hennepin County Library system, will be reconstructed starting in 2019 — but before that happens project leaders want to collect feedback from library users.
Hennepin County staffers will host an information session at the library, 7001 York Av. S., Edina, from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday. The county also opened an online survey where residents can provide input on the future of the location at bit.ly/2rLwJNu.
Since at least 2015 the county has considered razing Southdale Library, a chunky white building that opened in 1973 and now shares space with other county services. Architecture firm MSR Design was selected late last year to design the new building.
According to the city, residents want better access for pedestrians and cyclists and connections to surrounding trails.
Late last year, the county decided it would not relocate the Southdale courtrooms when the building closes in 2019 and would instead direct Bloomington and Richfield residents to the downtown Minneapolis courthouse.
Two interim superintendents selected
The Osseo school district, fifth largest in the state, is hiring two interim superintendents rather than choosing a new permanent leader for the top district spot.
The school board decided in a special meeting this month to nix picking a permanent replacement for retiring Superintendent Kate Maguire, whose 33-year career ends in June.
Instead, the board authorized two veteran school leaders to serve as interim superintendents: Kim Riesgraf, a former Osseo assistant superintendent, who will serve from July 1 to Sept. 30, and Jim Bauck, a longtime superintendent who most recently led the Eastern Carver County Schools in Chaska, who will take over from Oct. 1 to next June 30.
Both Riesgraf and Bauck are coming out of retirement to lead the district. They have nearly 70 years of combined education experience.
The board received 28 applications for the superintendent job in the 20,000-student district and interviewed four finalists. Board members will resume the search this fall for a permanent leader who would be expected to start in 2019.