ISD 166 seeks public input as comprehensive facility assessment moves forward
Kalli Hawkins

ISD 166 seeks public input as comprehensive facility assessment moves forward

It has been a busy couple of weeks at ISD 166. 

The school is currently in the midst of collecting input from students, staff, parents, and community members as it moves forward with a comprehensive facility and grounds assessment. 

The school board hired ICS, a project management firm, earlier this year to conduct a complete facility, building, and grounds analysis for ISD 166 as the school creates a strategic plan for the future. On Nov. 1, the school hosted the first of two public input meetings in the cafeteria hosted by ICS and Superintendent Chris Lindholm. Eleven community members attended the Nov. 1 meeting to share their thoughts and provide feedback on suggested facility improvements. 

The school is hosting a second public input meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The meeting follows parent-teacher conferences. 

“We’d love to have anyone who can make it be part of it,” Lindholm said. “We’re talking about something important to our community or the heartbeat of our community or school.”

Some of the identified facility improvements suggested by students, staff, and community members include:

  • Upgrades to bathrooms and locker rooms to have more privacy
  • Improvements to the cafeteria
  • Addition of a track field and softball field
  • State of the art technology for the school
  • Additional indoor and outdoor storage
  • LED lighting for energy efficiency 
  • More outdoor practice space for football, baseball, softball, and archery

After the final public input meeting on Nov. 9, ICS will present the compiled information along with an educational adequacy report to the school board on Nov. 16. Then, the school board will spend the next few months absorbing the information and make a decision on how to proceed, Lindholm said. “Ultimately, if the board decided that, yes, we want to go out and ask for a referendum question or two, that decision needs to be made by about May,” he said. “It’ll definitely be a busy four or five months.”

Leading up to the public input sessions, ICS did a thorough walk-through of the school grounds to gather information on facility upgrades. Based on the initial facility report provided to the school board during the Nov. 2 work session, the total cost of recommended facility upgrades totals $8.2 million. The upgrades include replacing windows and exterior doors, roof replacements, flooring upgrades, control system upgrades, dehumidification, and more. A large chunk of the $8.2 million cost estimate is the dehumidification system, which costs approximately $3 million. Lindholm said some of the identified facility needs in the ICS report are “not necessarily pressing,” and action does not need to be taken immediately. As for the dehumidification, Lindholm said, “I’m not so sure that’s going to make it on the final want list at the end. But there’s going to be a lot of conversations like that that have to happen.”

For individuals unable to attend the Nov. 9 public input meeting, Lindholm said comments can be directly submitted to his email address at, and he will pass it along to ICS. 

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Superintendent Chris Lindholm following the Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 school board meeting and the Nov. 1 public input meeting. Audio from the interview is below.