Blooming Prairie supporting new ZED facility

Published 6:00 am Thursday, October 31, 2019

By Chris Staloch

Blooming Prairie Superintendent

Excitement is building as the Zumbro Education District (ZED) prepares for the November vote when its seven-member district school boards will be voting on a new facility to provide much-needed space. Blooming Prairie Public Schools has benefited from a long, successful relationship with ZED dating back to July 1, 1993, when it initially joined the education district.

Chris Staloch, Blooming Prairie Superintendent

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Blooming Prairie students have benefitted immensely from the myriad of specialized services ZED provides. These services for students include assistive technology, deaf and hard of hearing, vision, behavior specialists, student enrichment activities, career and technical planning, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and many more. 

The new ZED facility will be located in Kasson, Minnesota, and houses the Alternative Learning Center (ALC), Transition to Success (18 thru 21-year old), and ZED South Campus-Setting IV. Being located near the Kasson school campus, the ZED programs will be able to utilize some Kasson facilities. Blooming Prairie’s partnership with ZED is critical as it supports students in each of these programs.

Blooming Prairie’s school board supports the building of this new facility and will be voting in November on this facility project. The school board’s support is based not only on the needs of students but on the impact on its community members. For members owning a house in the $100,000 range, the tax impact will be $11 per year. Agricultural, homestead land, is impacted at $.59 per acre, and for non-homestead property, the effect will be $1.19 per acre. Blooming Prairie’s commercial property with an estimated value of $500,000 would see a $150 per year increase in taxes.

The Blooming Prairie school board has been discussing this proposal for several years, and information about it was publicized recently in the June 18, 2019, edition of the Owatonna People’s Press. The board believes in absolute transparency surrounding this proposal and wants the community to be fully aware of its actions. ZED is and will continue to be an important partnership for our Blooming Prairie School District and the students that we serve.