Cotter’s new addition


Photo taken from Cotter Schools facebook.

Many Cotter community members have recently heard the news about the new building in place of the Roger Bacon building. The funds for this new building have been donated by The Slaggie Family Foundation.

The family donated $15-20 million for “a state-of-the-art academic building for middle and high school students on the school’s Winona campus.”

The new building is going to consist of: “new classrooms, updated infrastructure, and modern science labs, in addition to a new cafeteria.”

This new cafeteria is going to be a big win for students and teachers, making it easier and less of a hassle getting to lunch when weather is bad.

In addition to the new building the money will also go towards tuition assistance,in hopes of making the school more affordable for families in the Winona Community.

“Cotter Schools is near and dear to our hearts,” Mike Slaggie said in an interview with Cotter Schools. (Link to Cotter Schools Article)

“This gift is a direct result of the experience my dad had when he attended, and my siblings and I had when we attended.” Mike Slaggie added.

“Our family saw an opportunity to address deferred maintenance issues and give Cotter Schools the chance to step up and step forward with 21st-century classrooms for students.”

Co-Principal, Dave Forney, sees many positive changes that will come from having this new building.  The overall air quality of the building is going to be significantly better because it’ll be much cleaner and things will be new. The new building will also be air conditioned, so that is making many students excited because currently all floors in the main building are not air conditioned, and the fourth floor gets pretty steamy during the afternoons on a hot day.

The only negative things Mr. Forney could think of when being asked about the new building is that some students may have an attachment to the building from memories that  have taken place there, and there will be some displacement during construction, but other than that the building should be a positive thing for all students and members of the Cotter community.

A big difference that this new building will bring is it will make the jobs of the maintenance staff much easier because everything will be new and improved, so there won’t be as much time spent fixing old, broken items.

As of now the school is unsure of the amount of maintenance staff needed for next year, considering everyone will be in the same building.

Right now, the school is working with architects to decide on a plan. The design company will be coming in the next few weeks to discuss what will be incorporated in the new building.

Something that is for sure is the building will contain brand new science labs, which in the long run will be beneficial, so that students are using more current materials and technology. one of the main reasons for this new building is to improve the STEM program at Cotter, so these new labs will be highly beneficial.

A question on many student’s minds is “will the new building be earth friendly?” The answer to that is unknown, but “it is up to the design team to make it efficient.”

Right now there are solar panels on the roof of the Roger Bacon, and those will still be used somewhere next year, the location is still unknown.

here will be a learning curve, but people just need to stay cooperative, and continue with classwork as they would in their normal class setting”

— Dave Forney

As many students have already been informed that they will all be learning in one building next year, the past few weeks of school teachers have begun to move out of their classrooms, and storage rooms are being emptied in order to make space for the need of new classrooms.

“No single group, students, teachers, or other staff, will be negatively impacted by being in one building. There will be a learning curve, but people just need to stay cooperative, and continue with classwork as they would in their normal class setting,” Forney said.

Mrs. Schorn-Hoffert doesn’t have to move her classroom for next year, but she will be sharing with an English teacher. The biggest challenge she has noticed during the whole move is just the timing of it all. “preparing for finals and sorting out classrooms is all difficult and time consuming. The teachers and students are being sensitive and patient with one another, which is good. Overall I think people are remaining positive, considering the craziness of the last few weeks,” Schorn-Hoffert said.

Even thought not all classrooms will have smart boards or projectors, the school will still have what is necessary for the students to succeed, and if a problem does arise the administration is confident things will work out.  Cotter’s tech guru Greg Treharne will have challenges, but is good at his job, and will know how to adjust.

The next year or so is going to be pretty crazy , and students and teachers are going to have to learn how to adjust to the new layout of classrooms, but nothing is going to stop the cotter students and faculty from striving for success.