Mid-State Education Celebrates New Facility
Public gets first glimpse of specialized learning environment
A year after breaking ground, Mid-State Education District welcomed the public Wednesday at an open house at its state-of-the-art Setting IV facility.
It was the second such celebration in as many days for a central-Minnesota school district. Freshwater Education District also celebrated the opening of its new Setting IV facility on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The public explored Mid-State Education’s 35,000 square-foot building on Wednesday afternoon. The new facility serves students in grades K-12 with unique needs requiring a specialized learning environment.
For the first time since its formation in 1971, all district programs will be located under one roof, greatly enhancing efficiencies and collaboration.
With the help of a design team consisting of Mid-State representatives, as well as professionals from Nor-Son Construction, the Gordian Group, and ORB Management, each ‘neighborhood’ within the facility has been designed with age- and disability-appropriate areas for sensory and behavior regulation, a lunchroom, and spaces to meet recreation needs.
Also included is an area for transition-aged students between 17- and 21-years-old who will participate in career exploration and job skills training and coaching. Mid-State anticipates serving around 85 students in the new facility with approximately 45 program staff, as well as additional child-specific staff. It is located in the Little Falls Industrial Park – 15770 18th Street Northeast, Little Falls.
What is Setting IV?
Setting IV refers to programming in a separate school setting for students with significant behavioral or mental health needs. Students get extra academic, behavioral, and mental health programming in the alternate setting.
Like Freshwater, Mid-State Education has been dreaming for years of a one-stop shop built with its unique student population in mind. In October 2016, area special education leaders met with Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) staff and put the dream into motion.
Sourcewell gave $5 million to each district making their ideal facilities a reality.
Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota’s nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 325 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.